UN SECRETARIAT SEEKS MORE THAN $5 BILLION TO COVER WORK FOR NEXT TWO YEARS
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today proposed a budget of just over $5 billion to cover the work of the United Nations Secretariat for the next two years, telling a General Assembly committee that only a slight increase over the budget is needed despite increased demands for the UN's services.
Under Mr. Ban's proposal, which is being examined by the Assembly's Fifth Committee (administrative and budgetary), the Secretariat is requesting $5.06 billion for 2010 and 2011, which represents real growth of $22.4 million, or half a percentage point, over the previous biennium.
There would be a net reduction of 24 posts for the world body, with an increase in the Secretariat's Professional category being offset by a cut in jobs in General Service and related categories.
Mr. Ban <"http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=4196">told the committee that the proposals take into account the global economic and financial crisis and reflect strict budgetary discipline, balancing growth in some areas with reallocation and realignment in others.
"The United Nations faces increasing demands for its services," Mr. Ban said. "As Chief Administrative Officer, I am committed to management reform and to greater transparency, accountability and efficiency."
To that end, Mr. Ban highlighted the continuing costs of implementing a new information and communications technology (ICT) system to help the world body better plan and manage its resources, personnel needs and reporting process. He also drew attention to the expense of training related to International Public Sector Accounting Standards.
Mr. Ban noted that resources have also been allocated to ensure that staff have the skills necessary to meet the evolving needs of the Organization.
"In order to achieve the goals of the Secretariat-wide ICT Strategy, there is an urgent need to create a budgeting environment in which major ICT projects are considered strategic and different from recurring operational expenses.
"Without this kind of 'capital' budgeting arrangement for ICT, it will be impossible to overcome systemic under-investment in ICT, which has seen the Secretariat fall far behind other organizations in overall effectiveness and efficiency," said Mr. Ban.
A strengthened and unified security management system is among a number of significant expenditures likely to be presented in separate report to the General Assembly.
"My proposals will enable us to strengthen security for our staff, their dependents and UN premises," said Mr. Ban, urging Member States to consider these proposals favourably. "After all, our people are your people."