The United Nations General Assembly has greenlit a $3.59 billion budget for the year 2024, endorsing the creation of a special fund to support the UN’s peacebuilding initiatives.
During Friday’s late-night session, the 193-member General Assembly also allocated almost $50 million in additional funds to support resolutions adopted by the Human Rights Council, the principal platform for human rights discussions within the UN.
One significant decision made was the establishment of the Peacebuilding Account, a dedicated long-term fund aimed at financing the Peacebuilding Fund. Moreover, the Assembly sanctioned an annual allocation of $50 million in assessed contributions to kick-start the Account from January 1, 2025.
The Peacebuilding Fund stands as the foremost tool employed by the UN to invest in preventive measures and peacebuilding endeavours. It aids in coordinating joint efforts to tackle crucial peacebuilding prospects, bridging developmental, humanitarian, human rights, and peacebuilding initiatives.
In October, the Secretary-General proposed a budget of $3.3 billion to the General Assembly, emphasizing the indispensable role played by the United Nations in today’s world.
During his presentation, the UN’s chief expressed worry over the deteriorating financial situation within the organization, urging member states to ensure prompt and complete payments.
Additionally, the Assembly passed a resolution outlining provisions to enhance language accessibility in UN official intergovernmental meetings. This entails broader coverage in Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish languages. The resolution includes the creation of 20 positions categorized as general temporary assistance (GTA) for editors, press officers, and assistants working in these four languages.
On the same day, the General Assembly condemned the tragic loss of life among staff members of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), as well as the destruction of UN-affiliated buildings amid the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip.
Reports indicate that 142 UNRWA staff members have lost their lives, and 123 installations have been damaged. Tragically, personnel from other UN agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have also suffered losses.
Friday saw the devastating loss of Issam Al Mughrabi, a UNDP staff member, his family, and extended relatives in an Israeli airstrike.