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I Congressional Research Service
   ~~Info rmig th legislative debate since 1914


                                                                                         Updated August 14, 2019

United Nations Issues: U.S. Funding of U.N. Peacekeeping

The United States is the single largest financial contributor
to U.N. peacekeeping activities. Congress authorizes and
appropriates U.S. contributions, and it has an ongoing
interest in ensuring such funding is used as efficiently and
effectively as possible. The United States, as a permanent
member of the U.N. Security Council, plays a key role in
establishing, renewing, and funding U.N. peacekeeping
operations. For 2019, the United Nations assessed the
United States share of U.N. peacekeeping operation budgets
at 27.89%; however, since 1994 Congress has capped the
U.S. payment at 25% due to concerns that the current
assessment is too high. For FY2019, total enacted U.S.
funding for U.N. peacekeeping is $1.65 billion.

U.N. Peacekeeping Funding
The United Nations currently operates 14 U.N.
peacekeeping missions worldwide, with about 100,000
military, police, and civilian personnel from more than 120
countries. The Security Council adopts a resolution to
establish each operation and specifies how it will be funded.
In most cases, it authorizes the U.N. General Assembly to
create a separate assessed account for each operation to be
supported by member states contributions.

The General Assembly adopts the scale of assessments for
U.N. member contributions to peacekeeping operations
every three years. The peacekeeping scale is based on a
modification of the regular budget scale, with the five
permanent council members assessed at a higher level than
for the regular budget. For example, the United States is
assessed at 22% of the regular budget; however, its current
peacekeeping assessment is 27.89%. Other top contributors
include China, Japan, and Germany (Table 1).

     Table I. Top Financial Contributors to U.N.
       Peacekeeping, 2019, by Assessment Rate
Country             Percent    Country       Percent
I. United States   27.89       6. France     5.61
2. China            15.22      7. Italy      3.31
3. Japan           8.56        8. Russia     3.05
4. Germany          6.09       9. Canada     2.73
5. United Kingdom   5.79       10. S. Korea  2.27
          Rest of Membership, Total Percent: 19.48
Source: U.N. document, A/73/350/Add. 1, December 24, 2018.
Note: Italics represent permanent Security Council members.
U.N. members voluntarily provide the military and police
personnel for each U.N. mission. Peacekeepers are paid by
their own governments, which are reimbursed by the United
Nations at a standard rate determined by the Assembly
(about $1,428 per soldier per month).The U.N.
peacekeeping financial year runs from July 1 to June 30; the
Assembly usually adopts resolutions to finance
peacekeeping missions in late June. The total approved
budget for the current peacekeeping year is $6.51 billion.

Operations with the highest annual budgets are UNMISS
(South Sudan), at $1.18 billion; MINUSMA (Mali), at
$1.13 billion; and MONUSCO (Democratic Republic of the
Congo), at $1.01 billion.

U.S. Policy

Background and Context: The Enacted U.S. Cap
In the early 1990s, the U.S. peacekeeping assessment was
over 30%, which many Members of Congress found too
high. In 1994, Congress set a 25% cap on funding for all
fiscal years after 1995 (P.L. 103-236). Over the years, the
gap between the actual U.S. assessment and the cap led to
funding shortfalls. The State Department and Congress
often covered these shortfalls by raising the cap for limited
periods and allowing for the application of U.N.
peacekeeping credits (excess U.N. funds from previous
peacekeeping missions) to fund outstanding U.S. balances.
For several years, these actions allowed the United States to
pay its assessments to U.N. peacekeeping missions in full.
However, since FY2017 Congress has declined to raise the
cap, and in mid-2017, the Trump Administration allowed
for the application of peacekeeping credits up to, but not
beyond, the 25% cap-leading to the accumulation of
additional U.S. arrears.

Key Accounts and Recent Funding Levels
U.S. assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping
operations are provided primarily through the Contributions
for International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account,
which is funded through annual State Department-Foreign
Operations (SFOPS) appropriations acts. CIPA funds 12 of
the 14 U.N. peacekeeping operations, as well as the U.N.
criminal tribunals and mission monitoring and evaluation
activities. The Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) account,
which funds most non-U.N. peacekeeping and regional
stability operations, provides assessed contributions to the
U.N. Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS). In addition to
CIPA and PKO, the Contributions to International
Organizations (CIO) account funds two observer missions,
UNTSO (Israel and the Palestinians) and UNMOGIP (India
and Pakistan), which are funded through U.S. contributions
to the regular budget.
For FY2020, the President requested $1.13 billion for U.N.
peacekeeping through the CIPA account, a 27% decrease
from the enacted FY2019 CIPA level of $1.55 billion
(Table 2). In its request, the Administration highlighted its
commitment to seek reduced costs by reevaluating
mandates, design and implementation of peacekeeping
missions and sharing the funding burden more fairly with
other U.N. members.

U.S. peacekeeping funding may fluctuate year-to-year
depending on a number of factors, including discrepancies
between the aforementioned peacekeeping assessment and

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