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handle is hein.crs/goveguv0001 and id is 1 raw text is: Congressional Research Service
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Updated January 12, 2022

United Nations Issues: U.S. Funding to the U.N. System

The United States is the single largest financial contributor
to the United Nations (U.N.) system. Congress has long
debated the appropriate level of U.S. funding to U.N.
system activities and whether U.S. contributions are used
efficiently and effectively.
U.S. policymakers' perspectives on U.N. funding have
varied over time. The Trump Administration consistently
proposed significant overall decreases in U.N. funding and
withheld funding to several U.N. bodies. At the same time,
Congress generally funded most U.N. entities at higher
levels than the Administration requested. The Biden
Administration supports reengaging with the United
Nations; the President's FY2022 budget request proposed
fully funding U.N. entities and paying selected U.S. arrears.
UN. System Funding
The U.N. system comprises interconnected entities
including specialized agencies, funds and programs,
peacekeeping operations, and the U.N. organization itself.
The U.N. Charter, ratified by the United States in 1945,
requires each member state to contribute to the expenses of
the organization. The system is financed by assessed and
voluntary contributions from U.N. members. Assessed
contributions are required dues, the payment of which is a
legal obligation accepted by a country when it becomes a
member. Such funding provides U.N. entities with a regular
source of income to pay for staff and implement core
programs. For example, the U.N. regular budget,
specialized agencies, and peacekeeping operations are all
financed mainly by assessed contributions. Voluntary
contributions primarily finance U.N. funds and programs.
The budgets for these entities may fluctuate annually
depending on donor contribution levels. For more
information on the U.N. system, see CRS In Focus
IF11780, United Nations Issues: Overview of the United
Nations System, by Luisa Blanchfield.
U.N. regular budget. The U.N. regular budget funds the
core administrative costs of the organization, including the
U.N. General Assembly, Security Council, Secretariat,
International Court of Justice, special political missions,
and human rights entities. The regular budget is adopted by
the Assembly and used to cover a two-year period;
however, in 2017 the Assembly voted to change the budget
cycle to a one-year period beginning in 2020. Most
Assembly decisions related to the budget are adopted by
consensus. When budget votes occur (which is rare)
decisions are made by a two-thirds majority of members
present and voting, with each country having one vote. The
approved regular budget for 2022 is $3.12 billion. The
General Assembly determines a scale of assessments for the
regular budget every three years based on a country's
capacity to pay. Most recently, the Assembly adopted
assessment rates for the 2022-2024 period in December
2021. The U.S. assessment is currently 22%, the highest of

any U.N. member, followed by China (15.25%) and Japan
U.N. Specialized Agencies. The 15 U.N. specialized
agencies, which include the World Health Organization
(WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization, and World
Bank Group, among others, are autonomous in executive,
legislative, and budgetary powers. Some agencies follow
the scale of assessment for the U.N. regular budget, while
others use their own formulas to determine assessments.
U.N. peacekeeping funding. There are currently 12 U.N.
peacekeeping missions worldwide with over 80,000
military, police, and civilian personnel. U.N. Security
Council resolutions establishing new operations specify
how each mission will be funded. In most cases, the
Council authorizes the General Assembly to create a
discrete account for each operation funded by assessed
contributions; recently, the General Assembly temporarily
allowed peacekeeping funding to be pooled for increased
financial flexibility due to concerns about budget shortfalls.
The approved budget for the 2021-2022 peacekeeping fiscal
year is $6.37 billion. The peacekeeping scale of
assessments is based on modifications of the regular budget
scale, with the five permanent Council members assessed at
a higher level than for the regular budget. The current U.S.
peacekeeping assessment is 26.94%; however, Congress
has capped the U.S. contribution at 25%. Other top
contributors include China (18.68%) and Japan (8.03%).
US. Funding
Congress has generally authorized funding to the U.N.
system as part of Foreign Relations Authorization Acts.
When authorization bills are not enacted, Congress has
waived such requirements and appropriated funds through
the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) accounts in annual Department of
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS)
appropriations bills (Table 1). President Biden's FY2022
budget request includes the following:
* $1.66 billion for the Contributions to International
Organizations (CIO) account, which funds assessed
contributions to the U.N. regular budget, U.N.
specialized agencies, and other international
organizations (a $157 million increase over enacted
FY2021 funding of $1.51 billion). The request fully
funds U.N. bodies and includes $82.4 million to pay
U.S. arrears that accumulated due to U.S. withholdings
from U.N. human rights bodies (including the Human
Rights Council) from FY2018 to FY2020. It also
requests $75 million to pay one year of assessments to
the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) and includes waiver language
to provide authority to rejoin the organization.

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