Your Money at Work: UN Diplomats Drunk on the Job

Katie Pavlich

3/5/2013 7:45:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Have you ever wondered why the UN is such a worthless money pit? We may now know the answer.

Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella, who represents the U.S. on the U.N.'s budget committee, said Monday that the tense process of negotiating the world body's annual budget is made more complicated by the number of diplomats who turn up drunk.

The U.N. budget is finalized in December, when holiday parties apparently lead to some revelry spilling over into budget negotiations.

The U.S. is making "the modest proposal that the negotiating rooms should in future be an inebriation-free zone," Torsella said during a private meeting of the budget committee. The U.S. mission released a transcript of his remarks.

Drunk corruptocrats? That sounds about right. As a reminder, U.S. funding for the UN recently reached an all-time high totally more than $6 billion.

The U.S. has been the largest financial supporter of the U.N. since the organization’s founding in 1945. The U.S. is currently assessed 22 percent of the U.N. regular budget and more than 27 percent of the U.N. peacekeeping budget. In dollar terms, the Administration’s budget for FY 2011 requested $516.3 million for the U.N. regular budget and more than $2.182 billion for the peacekeeping budget.[2]

However, the U.S. also provides assessed financial contributions to other U.N. organizations and voluntary contributions to many more U.N. organizations. According to OMB, total U.S. contributions to the U.N. system were more than $6.347 billion in FY 2009.[3] This is more than $1 billion more than total contributions as compiled by OMB for FY 2005,[4] and it is indicative of the rising budgetary trends in the U.N. and the consequential demand on U.S. financial support.

On another note, if you haven't seen U.N. Me yet, you can and should order it here.