NEW YORK, DECEMBER 25 – With the looming threat of the Trump administration to withdraw American funds to UN agencies and to the organization itself, the United Nations General Assembly last night adopted 15 texts – 14 resolutions and one decision – recommended by its Fifth Committee which is responsible for administration and budgetary matters.
Actions taken by the General Assembly – the universal body that comprises all 193 UN Members States – included revising the Organization’s budget for the 2016-2017 biennium to $5.61 billion and approving $639.53 million to keep the 33 UN special political missions running smoothly.
In another text, the General Assembly called for $1.57 million gross ($1.46 million net) before recosting to continue improving UN’s administration of justice system. The call had been deemed necessary after an independent review last year concluded that, despite increasing transparency, only about half of the workforce had access to the system and many were unaware of it.
The Assembly also adopted a wide-ranging human resources resolution aimed at finishing major reforms begun half dozen years ago. It also tasked the Secretary-General to investigate the reasons for delays at each stage of the staff selection and recruitment as well as made some changes to recruitment processes on a provisional basis as a pilot phase.
Also yesterday, the General Assembly adopted 11 resolutions from its plenary and First Committee (dealing with disarmament and international security matters) tackling a wide range of issues, including nuclear disarmament, oceans and international law.
The recent UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements in occupied territories sparked calls from the US Senate to withdraw funds. The Trump administration is all but certain to go along. Sen. Lindsey Graham announced that he will propose a measure to pull US funding for the United Nations unless the UN Security Council repeals the resolution it passed condemning Israeli settlements. The same did Senator Ted Cruz, a rival of Mr. Trump in the primaries.