How the United Nations Works


U.N. headquarters in New York
U.N. headquarters in New York
UN/DPI Photo. Photo by A. Brizzi

Funding for the U.N. comes from the member nations. The General Assembly is in charge of ratifying a budget and deciding how much money each nation will pay into the system. Money gets divided into three areas:

  • The normal U.N. operating budget
  • The peacekeeping budget
  • Voluntary contributions, mostly for humanitarian efforts

According to the U.S. State Department:

  • In 2001, the U.S. paid $612 million toward the operating budget, $716 million toward peacekeeping and $2.2 billion toward voluntary contributions.
  • In the normal operating budget, the U.S. covered 22% of the budget. Other big contributors: Japan (19.6%), Germany (9.8%), France (6.5%), the U.K. (5.6%), Italy (5.1%), Canada (2.6%) and Spain (2.5%).

For more information on the United Nations and related topics, check out the links below.

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