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Updated October 26, 2021
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 2021, the United Nations assessed the U.S. share of
U.N. peacekeeping 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. Congress
appropriated $1.46 billion in contributions to most U.N.
peacekeeping activities for FY2021 (up to the 25% cap).
Most recently, President Biden's FY2022 budget request
proposes full U.S. funding for U.N. peacekeeping and also
includes the payment of some U.S. peacekeeping arrears.
U.N. Peacekeeping Funding
The United Nations currently operates 12 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.
In recent years, due to concerns about budget shortfalls, the
General 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; its current
peacekeeping assessment is 27.89%. Other top contributors
include China, Japan, and Germany (Error! Reference
source not found.). U.N. member states are currently
negotiating assessment rates for the 2022-2024 period,
which will be adopted by the Assembly in December 2021.
Table I.Top Financial Contributors to U.N.
Peacekeeping, 2021, 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.l, 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 2020-2021 peacekeeping year is $6.58
billion. Operations with the highest annual budgets are
MINUSMA (Mali), at $1.18 billion; UNMISS (South
Sudan), at $1.17 billion; and MONUSCO (Democratic
Republic of the Congo), at $1.07 billion.
U.S. Pli
Background and Context: The Enacted U.S. Cap
In the early 1990s, the U.S. peacekeeping assessment was
over 30%, which Congress found too high. In 1994,
Members capped U.S. funding at 25% 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 by raising the cap for limited periods and/or
by allowing the application of U.N. peacekeeping credits
(excess U.N. funds from previous missions) to fund
outstanding U.S. balances. For many years, these actions
allowed the United States to pay its peacekeeping dues 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 led to the
accumulation of about $920 million in U.S. arrears from
FY2017 to FY2020. In early 2021, President Biden
reversed the Trump Administration policy and allowed for
the applications of peacekeeping credits beyond the cap.
Key Accounts and Recent Funding Levels
Most 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 the
majority of U.N. peacekeeping operations, as well as the
U.N. criminal tribunals and mission monitoring 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.

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