Developing Nations Reject Ban Ki-moon’s Reduced UN Budget Proposal

    Li Baodong, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks at an interactive G-77 session with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The G-77 rejects Ban's proposal for a reduced U.N. budget. Photo by: Paulo Filgueiras / United Nations

    The Group of 77 developing nations is not happy with the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s proposal for a reduced U.N. budget.

    Ban is seeking a U.N. budget for 2012-2013 that is $155 million, or 3 percent, less than the previous level, citing sluggish global economic growth. His proposal includes reduction in official travel by using more video conferencing, curtailment or suspension of consultancies, decreased use of printed reports in favor of electronic documents, and an overall abatement in overtime payments.

    >> In Austerity Drive, UN Chief Proposes Curtailing Consultancies

    But in a letter to Ban, the G-77 called the U.N. chief’s reasoning as a “flawed argument” and said that the proposal was shortsighted and politically motivated, IPS reports.

    “As we all know, trillions of dollars have been spent in stimulus packages in order to salvage the banking system and the national economies of developed countries,” the G-77 said.

    The group stressed that the U.N. budget should reflect the specific requirements of each U.N. program and not the national interest of just a few member states.

    “In the present circumstances, developing countries are facing increased difficulties in coping with social and economic challenges. And it would only make sense that the United Nations, as an Organization that contributes to assist the poorest and most vulnerable corners of the world, would receive additional resources,” the G-77 wrote in the letter.

    The G-77 is also displeased that Ban appears to be taking the side of the West even before the budget negotiations start, which are due later this year, one member of the group told IPS on condition of anonymity. He also said that the secretary-general should not influence mandates that are established through “member state-driven” exercises.

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      Eliza Villarino

      Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.