Fact Sheet:  U.S. Successful Negotiations in the UN General Assembly Fifth Committee 

U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
For Immediate Release
January 19, 2023

Fact Sheet: U.S. Successful Negotiations in the UN General Assembly Fifth Committee

The United States, along with its allies and partners, concluded 2022 with a number of successes during the UN General Assembly Fifth Committee session. These include:  

  • Approval of 2023 UN Regular Budget. The Fifth Committee approved a $3.40 billion program budget for the UN. This fiscally responsible budget, which represents a 4 percent increase over the 2022 budget, funds the operations of the UN Secretariat, including functions vital to promoting human rights, disarmament, and international development, as well as special political missions and international courts. The budget provides funding for numerous U.S. priorities, including: the office of the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on combating sexual abuse and exploitation (previously voluntarily funded by the U.S.); the Black Sea grain initiative to address global food insecurity; the design of a new conference facility at the UN Office in Nairobi; and the Independent, Impartial Investigative Mechanism for Syria. The U.S. is the largest contributor to the UN assessed program budget, providing 22 percent of the funding. 

  • Full Funding for Human Rights Council (HRC) Mandates. The United States and European Union called a successful vote (84 in favor, 19 opposed, 50 abstaining) to fully fund Human Rights Council mandates (restoring $4.8 million in proposed cuts), defeating an effort by certain countries to zero out the budget for many of these mandates. 

  • Approval of the Annual Budget Cycle. For the past three years, the UN has operated under an annual budget process on a trial basis. This session, the Fifth Committee made permanent the annual budget cycle, which was the Secretary-General’s top reform priority for the session. The annual budget fosters transparency and accountability, enables more responsive budgeting, and encourages more active engagement of program managers. 

  • Restoring the Integrity of the “Common System” for Staff Compensation: Following a U.S.-led process in New York and Geneva, the Fifth Committee amended the statute of the International Civil Service Commission, eliminating legal ambiguity surrounding the Commission’s authority to set cost of living adjustments. The issue had previously resulted in extensive litigation, over $120 million in excess pay, and unequal compensation among UN organizations in Geneva. The Fifth Committee also: agreed on an expanded parental leave framework; increased the allowance for children with disabilities; and requested the Commission to restructure the children’s allowance to better meet the needs of lower-paid staff – potentially an important step in addressing retention among female staff in lower grades.

  • Approval of UN Pension Benefits for Previously Ineligible Same-sex Marriage Partners. USUN succeeded in changing a discriminatory and outdated UN pension fund regulation that had prevented same-sex partners who could not formalize their union prior to separation from service from receiving spousal benefits.