UNITED NATIONS, October 29 (Itar-Tass) — Russia made a regular payment of contributions to the budgets of the UN peacekeeping operations. The Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations told Itar-Tass that 22 million US dollars have been transferred to the UN accounts as the payment of Russia’s assessed contributions to the budgets of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), UN operation in C·te d'Ivoire (UNOCI) and the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
According to the UN data, at the present time, 232 Russian peacekeepers, including police officers, military advisers and military personnel are involved in the UN five peacekeeping operations in Western Sahara, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kosovo and Haiti.
Over 7 billion US dollars are allocated in 2011-2012 to finance 14 UN peacekeeping operations, involving more than 120 thousand soldiers, police and civilian personnel from 114 countries. For comparison: the UN regular budget for 2010-11 was approved by the UN General Assembly in the amount of 5.16 billion dollars.
Financial obligations of UN member states are composed of three parts: a contribution to the regular budget, payments for peacekeeping operations and maintenance costs of international tribunals. One more item has been recently added – spending for capital repairs of the building of the UN headquarters in New York.
According to the UN, Under Article 17 of the United Nations Charter, the General Assembly shall consider and approve the budget of the Organization and the expenses of the Organization shall be borne by the Members as apportioned by the General Assembly.
In its resolution 55/235 of 23 December 2000, the General Assembly reaffirmed the general principles underlying the financing of peacekeeping operations:
The financing of such operations is the collective responsibility of all States Members of the United Nations and, accordingly, the costs of peacekeeping operations are expenses of the Organization to be borne by Member States in accordance with Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations;
In order to meet the expenditures caused by such operations, a different procedure is required from that applied to meet expenditures under the regular budget of the United Nations;
Whereas the economically more developed countries are in a position to make relatively larger contributions to peacekeeping operations, the economically less developed countries have a relatively limited capacity to contribute towards peacekeeping operations involving heavy expenditures;
The special responsibilities of the permanent members of the Security Council for the maintenance of peace and security should be borne in mind in connection with their contributions to the financing of peace and security operations;
Where circumstances warrant, the General Assembly should give special consideration to the situation of any Member States which are victims of, and those which are otherwise involved in, the events or actions leading to a peacekeeping operation;
The same resolution decided the rates of assessment for peacekeeping based on ten levels of contribution.
General Assembly Resolution 55/236 on voluntary movements in connection with the apportionment of the expenses of United Nations peacekeeping operations also decided that:
...at any time during the scale period, a Member State may make a voluntary commitment to contribute at a higher rate than its current rate by information the General Assembly through the Secretary-General, and the Assembly may take note of that decision.
In its resolution 49/233 A of 23 December 1994, on the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of United Nations peacekeeping operations, the General Assembly decided that the financial period for each peacekeeping operation shall be from 1 July to 30 June.
According to the timetable endorsed by this resolution the Fifth Committee resumes its work annually for a period of four weeks in May to consider the administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of peacekeeping operations.
Peacekeeping budgets are prepared based on the mandate from the Security Council. A Start-up team is deployed as soon as feasible after the Security Council establishes mandate. A detailed budget is then prepared on the basis of findings of survey mission. It is prepared on an annualised basis (1 July of first year to 30 June to the following year) and therefore covers one mandate period and beyond.