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                                                                                                February 9, 2017

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


The United States is the single largest financial contributor
to U.N. peacekeeping activities, contributing 28.47% of
total funding (about $2.8 billion in FY2016). Congress
authorizes and appropriates U.S. contributions, and has
demonstrated 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 the establishment, renewal, and
funding of U.N. peacekeeping missions.

U.N.   Peacekeeping Funding
Operations and  budget. The United Nations currently
operates 16 U.N. peacekeeping missions worldwide, with
about 120,000 military, police, and civilian personnel from
more than 120 contributing countries. The Security Council
adopts a resolution to establish each operation and specifies
how  it will be funded. In most cases, the Council authorizes
the U.N. General Assembly to create a separate assessed
account for each operation to be supported by member
states contributions.

     Table  I. Top Financial Contributors to U.N.
                  Peacekeeping, 201 7
   Country        Percent   Country          Percent

   I. United States  28.47  6. United Kingdom 5.77
   2. China       10.25     7. Russia        3.99
   3. Japan       9.68      8. Italy         3.75
   4. Germany     6.39      9. Canada       2.92
   5. France      6.28      10. Spain       2.44
Source: U.N. document, A/70/33I/Add. I, December 28, 2015.
Note: Italics represent permanent Security Council members.
U.N. members  voluntarily provide the military and police
personnel for each mission. Peacekeepers are paid by their
own  governments, which are reimbursed by the United
Nations at a standard rate determined by the Assembly
(about $1,332 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 accumulated
approved budget for U.N. peacekeeping operations for
2016-2017 is about $7.87 billion. Operations with the
highest annual budgets are MONUSCO  (Democratic
Republic of the Congo) at $1.23 billion, UNAMID (Darfur,
Sudan) at $1.04 billion, and UNMISS (South Sudan) at
$1.08 billion.

Scale of assessments. The General Assembly adopts the
scale of assessments for U.N. member contributions to
peacekeeping operations every three years. The scale is
based on a modification of the U.N. regular budget scale,

with the five permanent Security Council members assessed
at a higher level than for the regular budget. The United
States is assessed at 22% of the U.N. regular budget;
however, its current peacekeeping assessment is 28.47%.
Other top contributors include China, Japan, Germany, and
France (see Table 1).

US.   Contributions
U.S. Assessment Level and Cap.  U.S. policymakers
have long debated the U.S. assessment level for U.N.
peacekeeping operations. In the early 1990s, the U.S. rate
of assessment was over 30%-a  level that many
policymakers found to be too high. Accordingly, in 1995
Congress set a limit, or cap, of 25% for the payment of
U.S. assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping
operations. The 25% cap remains U.S. law; from calendar
years 2001 to 2012, Congress included provisions in annual
State/Foreign Operations appropriations at the full U.N.
peacekeeping assessment rate for each of those years. Since
FY2012,  Congress authorized payment with appropriated
funds at the calendar year 2012 U.N. assessment rate
(27.14%), even though the assessed rate increased in
calendar years 2013 through 2016.

Opponents of the cap contend that the United States is
obligated under the U.N. Charter to pay its dues, and that
failing to do so could impact the effectiveness of U.N.
peacekeeping operations and possibly limit the United
States' influence within the U.N. system. On the other
hand, supporters maintain that other nations can and should
pay more for U.N. peacekeeping operations and the cap
might play a role in preventing the General Assembly from
significantly increasing U.N. peacekeeping budgets.

Key  accounts and recent funding levels. U.S. assessed
contributions to U.N. peacekeeping operations are provided
through three accounts funded in annual State
Department/Foreign Operations appropriations acts.

*  The Contributions for International Peacekeeping
   Activities (CIPA) account is the primary funding
   mechanism  for U.N. peacekeeping assessed expenses,
   currently providing contributions to 14 peacekeeping
   operations and two international criminal tribunals.

*  The Peacekeeping Operations (PKO)  account, which
   funds most non-U.N. multilateral peacekeeping and
   regional stability operations, provides authority and
   funds to pay the assessed expenses for the U.N. Support
   Office in Somalia (UNSOS).

*  The Contributions to International Organizations (CIO)
   account funds two observer missions, UNTSO (Israel


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