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UN Documentation: Regular Budget  

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Introduction Print Page


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.


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