Extrabudgetary resources

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Extrabudgetary resources (XB) are resources not financed through assessed contributions, and include voluntary contributions through trust funds.

Trust funds

Relevant administrative issuances

  • ST/SGB/188 Establishment and management of trust funds
  • ST/AI/284 Procedures for the establishment and management of general trust funds
  • ST/AI/285 Procedures for the establishment and management of technical cooperation trust funds
  • ST/AI/286 Procedures for the establishment and management of programme support accounts

Programme support costs

Programme support costs (PSC) are costs charged to XB resources to cover the costs to the Secretariat for the administration of an XB-funded activity. The General Assembly, in paragraph 2 of section V its resolution resolution 35/217 of 17 December 1980, approved the use of the 13 per cent rate for programme support costs used by the United Nations Development Programme.

PSC is intended to cover indirect costs incurred by the Secretariat through the administration of the trust fund. This is in contrast with direct costs, which are supposed to be funded through the activity. The two types of costs are defined[1] as follows:

  1. Direct costs: Those that can be readily and directly attributed to the programme, including (1) substantive and operational staffing, facilities equipment and activities and (2) programme services such as planning, resource mobilization, monitoring, evaluation and management.
  2. Indirect costs: Those that cannot be unequivocally be traced to the programme, including (1) central administration of human, financial, physical and ICT resources, (2) staffing, facilities, equipment, activities and legal liabilities related to central administration of resources, (3) implementation of Secretariat-wide initiatives and (4) oversight bodies.

Creation of posts

The Secretary-General can create posts funded through XB without approval of the General Assembly. However, as per General Assembly resolution 35/217 of 17 December 1980, posts at the D-1 level or above require concurrence of the ACABQ. Specifically, paragraph 2 of section II of the resolution endorsed the following recommendation of the ACABQ:

24. The Advisory Committee believes that the time has come for closer scrutiny of the establishment of extrabudgetary posts at the D-1 level and above. Accordingly, the Advisory Committee recommends that henceforth the establishment of all extrabudgetary posts at the D-1 level and above for which the approval of an inter-governmental organ is not required be subject to the concurrence of the Advisory Committee. Actions of the Advisory Committee in this regard would in turn be reported to the General Assembly.


  1. Memo dated 8 June 2012 from the Controller on Cost recovery: programme support costs (PSC)