(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Acting upon recommendation of its Budgetary Committee and after long days and nights of difficult discussions, the General Assembly late Friday approved by consensus a budget of 5.5 billion for the biennium 2014-2015 to enable the United Nations to carry out its vital work in various fields.
"The new budget is lower than the one for the previous biennium, reflecting our shared wish for a fiscally responsible Secretariat," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message delivered on his behalf by Chef de Cabinet, Susana Malcorra, following the Assembly's approval.
"We will continue to adapt and equip the United Nations to better implement its mandates," he said, noting that he has urged all managers to rethink their business practices, reduce overlap, embrace innovation, encourage creativity and build synergies.
He however voiced disappointment that the Assembly failed to reach agreement on two "critically important reform proposals" - a managed mobility policy and strengthened arrangements for partnerships with the private sector - which were deferred till next spring. He also stated that it would be "unrealistic to presume that any substantial budget reduction will have no impact while mandates keep growing."
"The time may have come for you to consider reviewing mandated activities that may have been fulfilled or overtaken by new developments," he suggested. In his closing remarks as the Assembly wrapped up its work for the main part of the 68th session, Assembly President John Ashe told member states "as the work of our Organization gets more challenging, so does its financial and administrative needs. "We therefore need to ensure that the ways in which we deal with these challenges have evolved and that the approaches of yesteryear also need to evolve if we are to have a fully functional Organization."
The Assembly adopted this year 259 resolutions and took 66 decisions, covering a wide range of issues, ranging from the Palestinian issue and human rights in Syria, to nuclear disarmament and the peaceful use of outer space.