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UN Documentation: Regular Budget

Secretary-General & Secretariat

The Secretary-General and the Secretariat prepare the following documents for consideration by the General Assembly and its subsidiaries:

  • Proposed Strategic Framework
  • Proposed Programme Budget
  • First and Second Performance Reports
  • Programme Performance for the Biennium
  • Financial Report and Audited Financial Statements

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General Assembly

Chapter IV, Article 17 of the Charter of the United Nations gives the General Assembly responsibility for approving the budget.

Substantive deliberations about the budget are generally delegated to the appropriate entities:

  • Fifth Committee
  • Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions
  • Committee for Programme and Coordination
  • Board of Auditors
  • Committee on Contributions

Resolutions and decisions about the budget are adopted by the plenary of the General Assembly and may touch on any aspect of the planning, programming, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation cycle.

In general, the General Assembly takes action on the budget on the basis of the recommendation of the Fifth Committee.

Resolutions and decisions offer citation to the documents considered by the General Assembly in its deliberations and reflect the final action of the organization on budgetary matters.

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Fifth Committee

Member of the Fifth Committee at work.

The Fifth Committee, one of the six Main Committees of the General Assembly, is allocated agenda items related to administrative and budgetary matters.

  • Chapter IV, Article 17 of the UN Charter concerns the budget and finances;
  • General Assembly resolution 45/248 B, Sect. VI, reaffirmed the Fifth Committee's role in administrative and budgetary matters;
  • The Fifth Committee meets in 3 sessions throughout the year:

    • from September - December, during the General Assembly main session
    • in March of the following year in resumed session
    • in May for its second resumed session:
      • while the Committee may consider urgent matters relating to the financing of a peacekeeping mission authorized by the Security Council at any of its sessions, the second resumed session deals exclusively with administrative and budgetary aspects of UN peacekeeping
    • reviews reports of Secretary-General, ACABQ, and other bodies regarding budget and finances and reports to the plenary
    • the Links and Resources section of the website has useful information about the budget process and peacekeeping financing
  • Document series symbol for working documents
  • Summary records
  • Press release series symbol 

The Fifth Committee submits a separate report to the plenary on every agenda item allocated to it. Each report:

  • indicates the meetings at which the item was considered
  • summarizes the committee's consideration of the item
  • identifies the sponsors of draft resolutions
  • reports the vote, if any, of Member States on draft texts
  • transmits the final version of draft resolutions and/or decisions recommended to the plenary for adoption
  • symbol pattern

The plenary considers each report and votes on the draft resolutions or decisions it contains.

For example, the General Assembly adopted resolutions 69/369/26269/263 and 69/274 based on the report of the Fifth Committee (A/69/422 + Add.1 + Add.2).

Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ)

The Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) is a subsidiary of the General Assembly responsible for "expert examination of the programme budget of the United Nations" and assists the Fifth Committee.

  • ACABQ website
  • Established by General Assembly resolution 14 (I) of 13 February 1946
  • Membership increased by resolution 32/103 of 14 December 1977
  • Functions described in rules 155 to 157 of the Rules of procedure of the General Assembly (A/520/Rev.18)
  • Meets in New York in closed sessions
    • Meeting records and press releases are not issued
  • Reports to the General Assembly on:
    • Proposed programme budget
    • UN Accounts
    • Specific topics relating to the budget and finances of the organization
  • Only ACABQ reports on matters related to the proposed biennial programme budget have a unique symbol pattern 
    • Supplement 7 to the General Assembly Official Records (GAOR) 
    • A/even-numbered session/7
    • A/72/7 
    • Addenda to this report deal with specific topics related to the proposed budget
    • Link to search for all ACABQ reports on the Proposed Programme Budget issued in GAOR
  • Reports on other matters are issued without any particular symbol pattern

Committee for Programme and Coordination

The Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) is a subsidiary of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly for planning, programming and coordination.

  • CPC website
  • Economic and Social Council resolution 920 (XXXIV) of 3 August 1962 established the Special Committee on Co-ordination
  • renamed by Economic and Social Council resolution 1171 (XLI) of 5 August 1966
  • terms of reference appear in Economic and Social Council resolution 2008 (LX) of 14 May 1976
  • subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly
  • reviews the programmes of the United Nations defined in the strategic framework
  • assists the Economic and Social Council on coordination within the United Nations system
  • meets annually in closed sessions
    • Meeting records and press releases are not issued
  • document series symbol for working documents
  • sessional reports 

Board of Auditors

The UN Board of Auditors audits the accounts of the UN and its funds and programmes.

NOTE: 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. Beginning with the 70th session, the Financial Statements and Report of the Board of Auditors covers one year.

Committee on Contributions

The Committee on Contributions advises the General Assembly on the apportionment of the expenses of the organization among the Member States according to their capacity to pay.

  • Committee on Contributions website
  • Established by General Assembly resolution 14 (I) A of 13 February 1946
  • Functions are described in rules 158 to 160 of the Rules of procedure of the General Assembly (A/520/Rev.18)
  • Recommends the scale of assessments of Member States’ contributions
  • Advises the General Assembly on:
    • Assessments for new members
    • Appeals by members for change of assessment
    • Application of Article 19 in cases of arrears in payment
  • Meets in New York in closed sessions;
    • Meeting records and press releases are not issued
  • Sessional reports