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UN Documentation: Regular Budget

Planning Documents

As requested by General Assembly resolutions 58/269 of 23 December 2003 and 63/247 of 24 December 2008, the current planning cycle:

  • follows a two-year pattern
  • draft planning document called Proposed Strategic Framework
  • final document called Strategic Framework
    • formerly called the Biennial Programme Plan
  • prepared by the Secretariat and issued in multiple parts

Proposed Strategic Framework

The Proposed Strategic Framework is issued in several parts.

Part one

Part one, the plan outline, is issued in one document

  • Symbol pattern: A/odd-numbered session/6 (Part I)
  • example: A/71/6 (Part I)

Part two 

Part two consists of many documents, one document for each Programme.

  • Symbol pattern
  • UNBISnet search tip: To find the relevant document for a department, search for the symbol plus the department name as a subject
  • ODS search tip: To find the relevant document for a particular department, search for the symbol plus the department name in the full text. It is generally best to "sort by symbol" when searching for these documents in the ODS.
  • Currently, the Programmes are issued as follows:
    • Prog.1: General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management
    • Prog.2: Political affairs
    • Prog.3: Disarmament
    • Prog.4: Peacekeeping operations
    • Prog.5: Peaceful uses of outer space
    • Prog.6: Legal affairs
    • Prog.7: Economic and social affairs
    • Prog.8: Least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States
    • Prog.9: United Nations support for the New Partnership for Africa's Development
    • Prog.10: Trade and development
    • Prog.11: Environment
    • Prog.12: Human settlements
    • Prog.13: International drug control, crime and terrorism prevention and criminal justice
    • Prog.14: Gender equality and empowerment of women
    • Prog.15: Economic and social development in Africa
    • Prog.16: Economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific
    • Prog.17: Economic development in Europe
    • Prog.18: Economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean
    • Prog.19: Economic and social development in Western Asia
    • Prog.20: Human rights
    • Prog.21: International protection, durable solutions and assistance to refugees
    • Prog.22: Palestine refugees
    • Prog.23: Humanitarian assistance
    • Prog.24: Public information
    • Prog.25: Management and support services
    • Prog.26: Internal oversight
    • Prog.27: Jointly financed activities
    • Prog.28: Safety and security

The General Assembly adopts a resolution on the framework, after consideration by:

  • Committee for Programme and Coordination
  • Economic and Social Council
  • Fifth Committee
  • General Assembly plenary
  • example: A/RES/71/6 

Biennial programme plan and priorities for the period

After General Assembly approval, the Biennial programme plan and priorities for the period (formerly the Strategic Framework), the final version of the planning document, consolidates the proposals into one document.

Budget outline

The Budget outline provides

  • Preliminary estimate of needed resources
  • Priority expenditures by sector
  • Real growth compared to the previous budget
  • Size of the contingency fund as a percentage of the overall budget.
  • UNBISnet search tip: To find the report for a biennium, search by title and include the years of the biennium.
  • ODS search tip: To find the report for a biennium, search by title and include the years of the biennium.
  • There is no distinctive symbol pattern, example: A/71/428 

General Assembly adopts a resolution on the Budget outline, after consideration by:

  • Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ)
  • Fifth Committee
  • General Assembly plenary
  • example: A/RES/71/274

Proposed Programme Budget

The Proposed programme budget for the biennium:

  • prepared by the Secretary-General
  • issued in multiple parts
  • the General Assembly adopts one or more resolutions on the Proposed programme budget after its consideration by:
    • Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ)
    • Fifth Committee
    • General Assembly plenary
  • symbol patterns:

UNBISnet search tip: To find the relevant document for a particular department, search for the symbol plus the department name as a subject.

ODS search tip: To find the relevant document for a particular department, search for the symbol plus the department name in the full text. It is generally best to "sort by symbol" when searching for these documents in the ODS.

Currently, the Sections are issued as follows:

  • Part 1 Overall policy making, direction and coordination
    • Section 1: Overall policy making, direction and coordination
    • Section 2: General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management
  • Part 2 Political Affairs
    • Section 3: Political affairs
    • Section 4: Disarmament
    • Section 5: Peacekeeping operations
    • Section 6: Peaceful uses of outer space
  • Part 3 International justice and law
    • Section 7: International Court of Justice
    • Section 8: Legal affairs
  • Part 4 International cooperation for development
    • Section 9: Economic and social affairs
    • Section 10: Least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States
    • Section 11: United Nations support for the New Partnership for Africa's Development
    • Section 12: Trade and development
    • Section 13: International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO
    • Section 14: Environment
    • Section 15: Human settlements
    • Section 16: International drug control, crime and terrorism prevention and criminal justice
    • Section 17: UN-Women
  • Part 5 Regional cooperation for development
    • Section 18: Economic and social development in Africa
    • Section 19: Economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific
    • Section 20: Economic and social development in Europe
    • Section 21: Economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean
    • Section 22: Economic and social development in Western Asia
    • Section 23: Regular programme of technical cooperation
  • Part 6 Human rights and humanitarian affairs
    • Section 24: Human rights 
    • Section 25: International protection, durable solutions and assistance to refugees
    • Section 26: Palestine refugees
    • Section 27: Humanitarian assistance
  • Part 7 Public Information
    • Section 28: Public information
  • Part 8 Common Support Services
    • Section 29: Management and support services
    • Section 29A: Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Management 
    • Section 29B: Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts 
    • Section 29C: Office of Human Resources Management
    • Section 29D: Office of Central Support Services
    • Section 29E: Office of Information and Communications Technology 
    • Section 29F: Administration, Geneva
    • Section 29G: Administration, Vienna
    • Section 29H: Administration, Nairobi
  • Part 9 Internal Oversight
    • Section 30: Internal Oversight
  • Part 10 Jointly financed administrative activities and special expenses
    • Section 31: Jointly financed administrative activities
    • Section 32: Special expenses
  • Part 11 Capital expenditures
    • Section 33: Construction, alteration, improvement and major maintenance
  • Part 12 Safety and security
    • Section 34: Safety and security
  • Part 13 Development Account
    • Section 35: Development Account
  • Part 14 Staff assessment
    • Section 36: Staff assessment

Programme Budget ("Regular Budget")

Programme budget for the biennium 

  • issued following General Assembly approval
  • Supplement 6 to the General Assembly Official Records (GAOR)
  • symbol pattern: A/even-numbered session/6/Add.1
  • example: A/70/6/Add.1
  • Link to search for all Programme budget for the biennium

Performance Reports

First and Second performance reports

At the end of each year of the biennium, the Secretary-General submits a report on the performance for the biennium.

First performance report identifies adjustments needed to account for inflation and other variables.

Second performance report provides an estimate of the anticipated final level of expenditures and income for the biennium.

  • UNBISnet search tip: To find the report for a biennium, search by title and include the years of the biennium.
  • ODS search tip: To find the report for a biennium, search by title and include the years of the biennium.

Programme Performance Report

At the end of the biennium, the Secretary-General submits a report on the programme performance for the biennium.

  • UNBISnet search tip: To find the report for a biennium, search by title and include the years of the biennium.
  • ODS search tip: identify the symbol from another source, such as UN-I-QUE, then search by symbol.

Financial Report, Audited Financial Statements and Report of the Board of Auditors

Financial Report and Audited Financial Statements for the Biennium and the Report of the Board of Auditors 

UNBISnet search tip: To find the report for a particular body, search by symbol and the name of the body (not the acronym) in the title.

ODS search tip: To find the report for a particular body, do an advanced search by symbol and the name of the body (not the acronym) in words of the title. It is generally best to "sort by symbol" when searching for supplements in the ODS.

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) + Corr.1). Other changes may also be noticed as documents are issued for the coming biennia. We will update this guide as needed.  

Scale of Assessments

The regular budget of the United Nations is apportioned among Member States according to the scale of assessments approved by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Committee on Contributions.

  • the scale generally covers three years
  • there is a separate scale of assessments for funding of peacekeeping operations 
  • example: A/RES/70/245
  • UNBISnet search tip: To find the scale, search by title and select Type of Material code (B01): resolutions/decisions (UN).
  • ODS search tip: identify the symbol from another source, such as the list of symbols in UN-I-QUE, then search by symbol.