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'UN agrees peacekeeping budget of $6.7 billion'

By AFP

Added 2nd July 2018 12:47 PM

The most important and therefore financially demanding missions are in South Sudan, DR Congo and in Mali

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The most important and therefore financially demanding missions are in South Sudan, DR Congo and in Mali

PIC: Chinese peacekeepers joined a UN mission in South Sudan in 2015. The United Nations currently has about 100,000 peacekeepers operating around the world. (AFP)

CONFLICT


UN member countries have agreed to a peacekeeping budget of just under $6.7 billion, according to diplomatic sources.

Two sources confirmed to AFP an agreement had been reached for $6.689 billion, about $122 million less than what had been recommended by a panel of experts.

It is also about $600 million less than last year's final figure of $7.3 billion.

Last year's budget was initially set at $6.8 billion but was boosted in December by an additional $500 million for missions in Haiti and Sudan's Darfur.

The United Nations currently has about 100,000 peacekeepers operating around the world, on fourteen active missions. The budget is set to be formally endorsed by the General Assembly later Sunday or Monday.

The most important and therefore financially demanding missions are in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Mali, each running to more than $1 billion a year.

The peacekeeping budget is separate from the UN's operating budget which is announced in December.

Last year, the top contributors to peacekeeping funding were the United States with 28.5 percent, China with 10.3 percent and Japan with 9.7 percent.

But in March, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said other countries need to "step up" and pay a bigger share, adding Washington would cap its contribution to 25 percent.

The cap of 25 percent of the US contribution has been in US law since the 1990s, but Congress has in the past waived that requirement at the administration's request.

President Donald Trump's administration has taken a hard line on UN funding, cutting contributions and pushing for cost-saving reforms.

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