UN General Assembly approves 5.4-bln-USD budget for next two years



Concluding the main part of its 72nd session, the United Nations General Assembly Sunday took a number of key actions, including approving a UN program budget of nearly 5.4 billion U.S. dollars for the next two years, according to a UN press release Wednesday.

The budget covers UN activities across a range of areas, including political affairs, international justice and law, regional cooperation for development, human rights and humanitarian affairs, and public information, said the press release.

The approved amount is 286 million dollars (or 5 percent) below the budget for the current two-year period 2016-2017 and 193 million dollars below the proposal made by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in October this year.

In addition to the budget, the 193-member General Assembly also adopted a number of key resolutions, including reforms in areas of peace and security, and of management, according to the press release.

Speaking at the closing session, Miroslav Lajcak, President of the UN General Assembly's 72nd Session, said that progress is not measured by the number of resolutions adopted, but rather by the impact the United Nations makes on people's lives.

"Our work is not yet done. We have more to do next year," the press release citing Lajcak, including the Global Compact for Migration, the peacebuilding and sustaining peace agenda, maintaining momentum on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as Security Council reform.

In approving the budget, the General Assembly also endorsed the proposal to move from a biennial planning and budgeting period to annual program budget on a trial basis, as of 2020, said the press release.

"This signals one of the most significant shifts in the program planning and budgeting process of the Organization since the 1970s," stated a note issued by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General.