U.S. Should Support Effort to Reduce U.N. Staff Costs

Salaries, benefits, and allowances of United Nations professional and higher level staff have risen sharply over the past decade in comparison with equivalent positions in the United States federal civil service. U.N. salaries are supposed to be based on those of equivalent civil servants, but are actually more generous than the salaries that member states, including the U.S., pay to their own civil servants. Personnel costs—including salaries—comprise approximately three-quarters of the U.N. regular budget and the budgets of many other U.N. organizations. Because many major contributors are facing domestic fiscal constraints, they have been reluctant to support increased U.N. budgets. As a result, increases in U.N. salaries are beginning to create budgetary strains, eliciting concern from some of these organizations. To address these issues, the U.S. should urge the General Assembly to support the recent recommendations by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) to reduce U.N. salaries, allowances, and benefits; propose salary cuts for Assistant Secretary-Generals (ASGs) and Under Secretary-Generals (USGs); and endorse freezing salaries until U.N. net remuneration falls to match that of the U.S. federal civil service.

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