$285mn less in the UN Christmas stocking

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The US announced the UN was getting $285mn less in the Christmas stocking for next year. Good. The UN is long overdue much needed restructuring. If there was ever an organization that epitomizes waste, most would struggle to top the UN. It is an inefficient bloated and elitist theocracy. It is a group with a dreadful track record, fly-by-night ethics and dubious governance.

It is a group that has openly been outed on promoting ‘diversity and gender’ as more important than ‘qualification.’ Is it any wonder that this body is in dire need of inner reflection and restructuring? If the UN was held to the scrutiny of the open market it’s shareprice would trade at such a deep discount that it’s ability to raise capital would be prohibitively expensive. That’s the checks and balances only the free market provides.

While much wailing will be heard at the callous nature of the US, shouldn’t every nation have the right to vote with their wallet? Sadly Australia seems only too willing to put more in the collection pot in the hope it can “buy” influence.

Yet isn’t that the problem? Why should the UN be given any money to manage if people within its own ranks believe that Robert Mugabe could pass a sniff test as a WHO ambassador? Or Pachauri whom directed climate funds into his own ‘think tank’ when head of the IPCC?

Still if you are in the UN of course you want it to continue. The pay scales are incredible, On top of generous income tax free pay you can get housing support, kid’s schooling assistance, health insurance and other cost of living allowances that would make most people loyal slaves to the cause. Salaries consume 74% of the $5.15bn budget. The average salary of the 41,000 that work there is c.US$100,000. In Japan a D1-D2 level would be looking at $320,000 peer annum. No wonder they need members to keep chipping in more and more into the UN coffers to keep the circus going, Is it any wonder that pay for play is how you buy influence on councils.

The Heritage Foundation did an interesting study on the UN’s budget which shows how much it has exploded in the last 40 years. The UN’s budget has grown 10-fold in that time.

“The latest U.N. regular budget, while superficially smaller than the previous budget, made no fundamental programmatic or structural adjustments—e.g., reducing permanent staff, freezing or reducing salaries and other benefits, and permanently eliminating a significant number of mandates, programs, or other activities—that would lower the baseline for future U.N. budget negotiations. Despite the Secretary-General’s proposal to eliminate 44 permanent posts, the 2012–2013 budget actually increased the number of permanent posts by more than a score compared with the previous budget. The failure to arrest growth in U.N. employment, salaries, and benefits is especially problematic because personnel costs account for 74 percent of U.N. spending according to the U.N.’s Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). Without a significant reduction in the number of permanent U.N. posts or a significant reduction in staff compensation and related costs, real and lasting reductions in the U.N. regular budget will remain out of reach.”

Note the peacekeeping budget is on top of the administrative side of the UN. The US currently contributes 27.1% of the total peacekeeping budget which is around $9bn.

In short, it is a welcome sign. The only way for the UN to wake up is by making it look inside as to how it needs to manage costs on a smaller revenue base. That to espouse righteousness and responsibility to the world should also mean that it practices what it preaches.

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