The U.S. Should Push for Fundamental Changes to the United Nations Scale of Assessments

In June 2015, the U.N. Committee on Contributions is meeting to review the U.N. scale of assessments, which apportions the expenses of the regular budget and, by extension, the peacekeeping budget. Under U.N. rules, the budget is passed by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly, even if those countries pay only a small fraction of the expenses. Theoretically, based on the assessment for 2015, countries paying slightly more than 1.5 percent of the regular budget could pass it over the objections of countries paying over 98 percent. This divorce between financial obligations and voting power contributes to fiscal irresponsibility and impedes efforts to adopt reforms to use U.N. funds more effectively and improve transparency and accountability. The U.S. should seek changes to spread the burden of the scale of assessments more equitably and to give major donors greater say in budgetary decisions.

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