Thank you, Madam Chair. The United States takes its obligations to the United Nations seriously and its partnership with the organization and with other Member States. As a strong promoter of reform of the organization and how it delivers its mandates, the United States also sought to reform the way the peacekeeping operations are financed. Unfortunately in a deeply dissatisfying and disappointing turn of events, every country decided reform was good and right for the UN, but not for how it is financed.
For the financial health of the organization, the United States firmly believes that no one Member State should pay more than one-quarter of the organization’s budget. The lack of agreement on a 25 percent ceiling will cause the organization to continue to face a three percent shortfall in its peacekeeping budget as the United States will pay no more than 25 percent of peacekeeping expenses, again a less than ideal outcome.
The United States will continue to call for more equitable financial burden sharing noting that the resolution setting out the next scale affirms the need for a reform of the peacekeeping methodology in an expeditious and efficient manner. No one has to look any further for this urgent need for reform than the discount for wealthy countries, whose per capita income is more than twice the average of the organization’s membership. These discounts are without justification and have no basis in any methodology and should be eliminated.
Many countries also receive extraordinary discounts on their peacekeeping assessments. Specifically, nearly half of Member States receive an 80 percent discount to their assessments on the peacekeeping scale. This discount is levied after capacity to pay has already been factored into the regular budget assessments. This is neither sensible nor equitable. Again, a clear indicator for the need for reform.
Despite the short-sightedness by UN Member States and lack of political will for comprehensive change, I do thank you for your leadership in providing a path forward to ensure the organization is funded.