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UN Documentation: Regular Budget  

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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The Charter of the United Nations gives responsibility for:

  • approving the budget to the General Assembly (Chapter IV, Article 17)
  • preparing the budget to the Secretary-General, as “chief administrative officer” (Chapter XV, Article 97)

The Charter also addresses the non-payment of assessed contributions (Chapter IV, Article 19).

The planning, programming, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation cycle of the United Nations has evolved over time;

  • major resolutions on the process include General Assembly resolutions:
  • the current Regulations and Rules governing the programme budget cycle are in ST/SGB/2000/8
  • the current Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations are in ST/SGB/2013/4 

The UN programme budget now covers a two year period, beginning in January of an even-numbered year (e.g. 2014-2015).

The General Assembly may adopt resolutions and decisions on every aspect of the planning, programming, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation cycle. These resolutions offer citation to the documents considered by the General Assembly in its deliberations and are an excellent starting point for the researcher.

The programme budget offers a wealth of information about the activities of the United Nations, including the details of the programmes carried out by the UN.


Note on Budget Cycle

Budget deliberations begin two years before the biennium to allow time for the preparation of the documents and consideration by the bodies.

For the 2012-2013 programme budget, the planning documents were issued in 2010 and the proposed budget was issued in early 2011. The Fifth Committee completed its deliberations and the General Assembly adopted its resolution on 24 December 2011 (A/RES/66/248 A-C).


Training on UN Budget Documents

From October - December 2013, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library offered a training on the budget documentation.

Class description: This 2 hour class introduces the published documents related to the United Nations regular budget and the key bodies that consider budget documents. Intended as an overview for those new to the budget process, this class does not go into depth or introduce the systems used to track the budget.

The slideshow prepared for the class is available here. Some resources mentioned are not available outside the UN.

Key Resources

  • Official Document System (ODS)
    United Nations official document system: provides full text search of documents issued since 1993; resolutions of all principal organ & Security Council plenary documents since 1946 ; older documents are added regularly. Includes the Daily Journals of New York and Geneva.
  • Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs
    Analytical studies of the decisions of the UN principal organs under each of the Articles of the Charter ; Comprehensive summary of the decisions of United Nations Organs, together with review of related material, organized by Charter Articles.
  • UN Meetings Coverage and Press Releases
    Available online from October 1995. Press Releases are not official documents but provide timely information on the current activities of the principal organs and subsidiary bodies, including summaries of meetings.
  • UN Yearbook
    The Yearbook of the United Nations is the principal reference work of the UN and provides a detailed overview of the Organization's activities during the course of a year. All the Yearbooks, 1945 to the most recent, are available online and provide citation to the documentation and include the full text of resolutions.
  • UN-I-QUE
    UN Info Quest (UN-I-QUE) provides citation to the symbols for documents throughout the history of the organization: each record within UN-I-QUE is historically comprehensive. UN-I-QUE does not provide citation to all documents, but to certain documents of a recurrent nature.
  • UNBISnet - Bibliographic Records
    UNBISnet is the catalogue of the UN Library in New York. In addition to the library's holdings it accesses multilingual versions of UN documents (1993-present), citation to documents (1979-present) ; metadata and online links to older documents are added regularly.
  • UNBISnet - Index to Speeches
    Provides access to meeting records of the Principal organs, beginning in the mid-1980s, by country or organization, speaker, document symbol, or topic.
  • UNBISnet - Voting Records
    Provides the recorded vote for all resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and Security Council, 1946-present. Documents can be searched by resolution symbol, keyword, or date.

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