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                                                                                         Updated March 23, 2020

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

The United States is the single largest financial contributor
to United Nations (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 2020, the United Nations
assessed the U.S. share of U.N. peacekeeping budgets at
27.89%; however, since 1994 Congress has capped the U.S.
payment at 25% due to concerns that U.S. assessments are
too high. For FY2021, the Trump Administration proposed
$1.07 billion for U.N. peacekeeping, a 29% decrease from
the enacted FY2020 level of $1.52 billion.

The United Nations currently operates 13 U.N.
peacekeeping missions worldwide, with more than 80,000
military, police, and civilian personnel from over 100
countries. The Security Council adopts a resolution to
establish each operation and specifies how it will be funded.
Historically, the Council has authorized the U.N. General
Assembly to create a separate assessed account for each
operation to be supported by member states contributions.
Recently, due to concerns about budget shortfalls, the
Generally Assembly has temporarily allowed peacekeeping
funding to be pooled for increased financial flexibility.

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 U.N. 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, 2020, 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. I, December 24, 2018.
Note: Italics represent permanent Security Council members.
U.N. members voluntarily provide 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 2019-2020 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.

              an  0,nk'cs  Th~e E        LctSN C U.S.
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
missions) to fund outstanding U.S. balances. For several
years, these actions allowed the United States to pay its
peacekeeping assessments 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
which has led to the accumulation of an additional $900
million in U.S. arrears since FY2017.

Key A,courws and' Rec-r k F ds
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 11 of
the 13 U.N. peacekeeping operations, as well as the U.N.
criminal tribunals and mission monitoring and evaluation
activities. In addition to CIPA, the Contributions to
International Organizations (CIO) account funds two
observer missions, UNTSO (Israel and the Palestinians) and
UNMOGIP (India and Pakistan), through U.S.
contributions to the U.N. regular budget. 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), a U.N.-authorized logistics mission that
supports the African Union Mission in Somalia. (The
executive branch generally requests UNSOS funding
through CIPA; however, Congress usually funds UNSOS
through PKO.)
For FY2021, the President requested $1.07 billion for U.N.
peacekeeping through the CIPA account, a 29% decrease
from the enacted FY2020 level of $1.52 billion (Figure 1).
In its request, the Administration highlighted its


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