Reassessing the Budgets

  • Anthony McDermott


The devices outlined in the previous chapter have their marked merits and disadvantages. Almost all share the starting-point of being bounded by the conflicting interests of the international idealism, which the UN is supposed to embody, and day-to-day practicality. They cannot be introduced as a single package for, as the debate and narrative have shown, they all potentially cut across different attitudes, principles and national interests. But some features stand out. Both analysts and practitioners have over the years urged the use of, or at least serious interest in, such alternative means to financing the UN. Devices will not provide a solution but they are far more acceptable today than in the past. There should have been some learning from the experience of the specialized agencies and programs which have had near autonomy in financial terms and in the running of their budgets from the beginning. This has lead to acute problems in the running of programs, but, in terms of the financial structure of the UN, it is taken for granted that they are virtually their own masters. The theoretical paramountcy of the General Assembly has, in this way, been long eroded and emphasized by the globalization of the world economy and by the swiftness and broad extension of financial and economic flows.


Member State Cash Flow Security Council Special Account Peace Operation 
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© Anthony McDermott 2000

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  • Anthony McDermott

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