UN peacekeeping missions face potential shutdown if $6 billion budget not approved
Officials and diplomats for the United Nations on Monday said the organization’s global peacekeeping missions are at risk of being shut down if the U.N. General Assembly does not reach an agreement on its $6 billion budget.
As Reuters reports, diplomats are blaming negotiating procedures, logistics and talks that pit China against Western powers for the inability to reach an agreement on funding.
Catherine Pollard, the U.N.’s head of management strategy, policy and compliance, told reporters that she has advised the U.N.’s 12 peacekeeping missions to prepare contingency plans in case a budget is not approved in time by Thursday.
“At the same time, we remain hopeful and confident that member states will conclude their negotiations,” Pollard said, according to Reuters.
According to Pollard, if the budgetary deadline is missed, then the U.N. can only pay to protect U.S. assets and ensure the protection of its staff and peacekeepers.
Reuters notes that the U.S. is the largest contributor to the U.N.’s peacekeeping budget, accounting about 28 percent. China and Japan follow, paying for about 15 and 9 percent respectively.
“The risk is that for a while until a decision on budgets is reached by the General Assembly, our missions will find themselves under strict constraints, to only spend on measures to protect our personnel,” Jean-Pierre Lacroix, U.N. under secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, said according to France 24.
“This is a worrying possibility, especially in an environment in which most of our missions are operating in very difficult, problematic and dangerous circumstances,” Lacroix said.