The programme budget, or regular budget, is the budget of the United Nations prepared by the Secretary-General in his capacity as chief administrative officer of the Organization and approved by the General Assembly. It does not cover the expenses of large peacekeeping missions funded through separate special accounts. The appropriation for the approved budget is apportioned amongst Member States on the basis of the scale of assessments.
The Dag Hammarskjöld Library has an excellent guide to the programme budget and the many different documents and intergovernmental bodies involved in the budget process: UN Documentation: Regular Budget
The programme budget runs from 1 January to 31 December, unlike peacekeeping budgets, which run from 1 July to 30 June.
The budget was originally produced and approved on an annual basis. In General Assembly resolution 3043 (XXVII) of 19 December 1972, the General Assembly approved, "on an experimental basis" the move to a biennial (two-year) budget. The first biennial budget, covering calendar years 1974 and 1975, was approved in General Assembly resolution 3199 (XXVIII) of 18 December 1973. As part of the management reform, the General Assembly approved "the proposed change from a biennial to an annual budget period on a trial basis, beginning with the programme budget for 2020", in its resolution 72/266 of 24 December 2017.
The regulations and rules that govern the budget are the Regulations and Rules Governing Programme Planning and the Financial Regulations and Rules.
Relevant reports on the current annual budget process:
- A/74/852 Shifting the management paradigm in the United Nations: Budgetary procedures and practices
- A/75/6 (Introduction) Proposed programme budget for 2021: Forward and introduction (see section A: Methodology and Format)
The approved annual budgets under the process approved in General Assembly resolution 72/266A are as follows:
- A/74/6/Add.1 Programme budget for 2020
The basis of assessment for recent calendar years, reflecting the approved level of the budget and all add-ons, is reflected below.
- Article 97 of the Charter
- Article 17 of the Charter