UN Secretary-General António Guterres introduced a $3.3 billion programme budget for the Organization in 2024, amidst an array of global challenges ranging from conflicts, human rights violations, inequalities, and climate disasters.
“The role of the United Nations has never been more vital – and we are stepping up our efforts,” Mr. Guterres told delegates at the General Assembly’s main budget committee.
He highlighted key initiatives such as the SDG Stimulus, Our Common Agenda, Climate Solidarity Pact and Acceleration Agenda, to respond to the challenges.
“On these and so many other fronts, we are determined to advance peace, sustainable development and human rights,” the UN chief said.
The proposed 2024 regular budget includes 10,334 posts, a net increase of 199, excluding special political missions.
The requirements focus on resources required to implement new intergovernmental mandates, as well as ensuring predictable and sustainable funding for activities, mainly in the areas of counter terrorism and human rights.
The budget proposes continued investments in sustainable development, strengthened multilingual programming, global outreach as well as a more efficient and effective workforce.
“Our budget proposes a shift towards new skills, including in the areas of data, innovation, digital, foresight and behavioral science expertise, in line with my data strategy and the vision for a UN 2.0,” Mr. Guterres said.
The Secretary-General also expressed concern over the deteriorating liquidity situation of the Organization, urging countries to ensure timely and full payments.
Collections have decreased, creating challenges, he said, adding that temporary cash management measures have been implemented to align cash flows with reserves, but further measures might be necessary.
“As in the recent past, programme managers will strive to minimize the negative impact on programme delivery. But protracted cash conservation measures, including the suspension of hiring, will impact the delivery of some mandates,” Mr. Guterres said.
UN budget discussions
Over the next several weeks, the Fifth Committee – the General Assembly’s primary body on budget – will discuss the proposal, including with heads of UN Secretariat departments and senior programme managers.
The Committee will then present its report with recommendations to the General Assembly plenary, for approval of the UN budget by the end of December.