NEW YORK (Reuters) – Member countries of the United Nations (UN) on Tuesday approved the budget of about $6 billion for the organization’s 12 peacekeeping missions next year, diplomats announced, narrowly avoiding a potential suspension of operations.
The budget committee of the 193-member UN General Assembly approved the peace missions budget for the year through June 30, 2022. It will be formally adopted by the Assembly on Wednesday.
Top UN officials said on Monday that UN peacekeeping missions – most of them in Africa and the Middle East – had been instructed to draw up contingency plans in case a new budget was adopted by June 30th.
Some diplomats said issues such as changes in negotiating procedures, logistical problems and harsh speeches pitting China against Western countries threatened a delay in negotiations.
“Our chronic inability to meet deadlines puts the entire architecture of peacekeeping missions at unprecedented risk,” EU diplomat Thibault Camelli told the budget committee on Tuesday.
“For future negotiations, we owe the women and men in the field, who carry out peace mandates, to finish our work on time.”
Catherine Pollard, UN director of Strategy, Policy and Compliance, told reporters on Monday that if the June 30 deadline was not met, Secretary General António Guterres could use the money only to safeguard UN assets and to ensure the protection of teams and peacekeepers.
The United States is the largest contributor to the peace missions budget, accounting for about 28%, followed by China with 15.2% and Japan with 8.5%.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols)
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