United Nations

UN Documentation: Regular Budget

Regular Budget Documentation

Meeting of the Fifth Committee

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. 2016-2017).

NOTE: Due to the implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), we have observed changes in the pattern of documentation. For example, in the past the Report of the Board of Auditors for the United Nations was issued every other year following the completion of the biennium. However, beginning in the 70th session, the Financial Statements and Report of the Board of Auditors covers one year (A/70/5 (Vol.I)). Other changes may also be noticed as documents are issued for the coming biennia. We will update this guide as needed.  

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.

Related Research Guides

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 2016-2017 programme budget, the planning documents were issued in 2014 and the proposed budget was issued in early 2015. The Fifth Committee completed its deliberations and the General Assembly adopted its resolution on 23 December 2015 (A/RES/70/249 A-C, not yet issued).

Training on UN Budget Documents

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library occasionally offers training on the budget documentation for the UN community.

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