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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Strategic Communications and Planning > Key Policy Fact Sheets > 2005

U.S. Participation in the United Nations: Financial Contributions

Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
September 8, 2005

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U.S. Engagement in the United Nations

The United States co-founded and continues to support the United Nations as an instrument to foster international peace and security; to fight poverty through development; to eradicate diseases; and to advance freedom, human rights, and democracy.

United States leadership in the UN is critical to make the world more secure, more democratic, and more prosperous. At the same time, the United States is committed to ensuring good stewardship of UN resources so that these universal goals are met effectively and efficiently.

Financial Contributions to the United Nations

The United States has been the largest financial contributor to the UN every year since its creation in 1945. U.S. contributions to the UN system in 2004 were well over $3 billion. For the calendar year 2003, the United States’ assessed contribution to the UN regular budget was $362 million. In addition, the United States’ assessed contribution to UN specialized agencies amounted to well over $400 million. The United States also contributed $1.1 billion in assessments to the peacekeeping budget in calendar year 2004; $72 million for the support of the international war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia; and nearly $6 million for preparatory work relating to the UN Capital Master Plan. Moreover, each year the United States provides a significant amount in voluntary contributions to the UN and UN-affiliated organizations and activities, largely for humanitarian and development programs.


The United States is a generous supporter – in many cases the largest supporter—of key UN programs. In 2004, the U.S. contributed:

  • 48% of the budget of the World Food Program to help feed 104 million people in 81 countries;
  • 17% of the budget of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to feed, vaccinate, educate, and protect children in 157 countries;
  • 31% of the budget of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to safeguard the rights and well being of 19.2 million refugees in 116 countries. 09/08/05


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