The United Nations (UN) is an international organization founded in 1945. It is currently made up of 193 Member States. The mission and work of the United Nations are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.
Article 17 of the U.N. Charter specifies that the U.N. General Assembly will determine the basis for payment of the expenses of the organization. The expenses shall be borne by the Members as decided by the General Assembly.
What is the basis for deciding the quantum of contribution of each member?
Each member state of the UN is obligated to contribute to the UN. The contribution is calculated on the basis of scale of assessments. The Committee on Contributions is entrusted with the job of deciding the quantum of contribution.
To determine the scale of assessments, the Committee on Contributions uses estimates of each member state’s gross national product (GNP) and a number of adjustments, including data for external debt and for low per capita incomes. The assessment thus takes into account the country’s share of the global Gross National product with discounts given for low per-capita income and the country’s external debt. This is with respect to the regular budget of the UN. Similar assessments are done for other organizations of the UN including the peacekeeping operations. For deciding contribution to the peace keeping operations, adjustments are made for average per capita GNP compared to global average GNP.
The General Assembly has directed that percentage shares range from a minimum of 0.001% to a maximum of 22%, and a maximum of 0.01% for those nations designated as “least developed countries.”
The scale of assessments is normally reviewed after every three years. The current time period of assessments is for the years 2016-2018.
Who contributes the most to the regular UN budget?
As expected, United States of America contributes the highest with a share of 22%. USA’s GNP is approximately 27% of the total GNP of all the member countries of the UN and thus its highest share of contribution is justified.
Japan contributes the second highest with 9.68%, followed by China (7.921%), Germany (6.389%), France (4.859%) and UK (4.463%) in the top five. Brazil contributes about 3.823% and is 6th in this list.
18 Countries contribute more than 1% each to the UN regular budget. 135 countries contribute less than 0.1% each including India’s neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Out of the 193 countries part of the UN, the top 20 countries contribute 83.78% while the other 173 countries contribute 16.22% only. The top 10 contributors account for 68.89% of the total contributions. The total regular UN budget for the year 2016-17 is $ 5.6 billion.
How much does India Contribute?
According to the assessment made for the years 2016-18, India has to contribute 0.737% to the UN regular budget. This puts India in the 24th place in the list of highest contributors. Based on the assessment by the contributions committee, India’s contribution to the UN regular budget was fixed at 0.534% for 2009-12 and 0.666% for 2013-2015.
India’s contribution to the UN regular budget was 16.97 million dollars in 2012-13, 17.19 million dollars in 2013-14 and 18.07 million dollars in 2014-15. India’s actual share is 19.82 million dollars in 2014-15, but is given a credit of 1.74 million dollars for the income tax exemption extended by India for the UN staff working in India.
India also contributed to the other UN agencies like the UNDP, UNICEF, UNEP etc. India’s contribution to UN peacekeeping operations was fixed at 0.1068% for the period 2009-12 and at 0.1332% for the period 2013-15 and 0.1474% for the period 2016-18.
India’s total contribution to the UN was Rs 138 crore in 2013-14, Rs 157 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 244 crore in 2015-16. Among the BRICS nations, India’s contribution is more than only South Africa. Brazil. Russia and China contribute more than India.