United Nations ups budget to £3.3bn as cost of special missions soars

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The UN General Assembly approved an increase of about 5 per cent to cover the United Nations’ regular operations in 2012-2013, raising the two-year budget to about $5.4 billion (£3.3bn) but delaying action on a key proposal that would allow greater mobility of UN staff.

The 193-member body finally voted by consensus on Christmas Eve to increase the budget by about $243.3 million from the $5.15bn agreed on last 

More than half the increase is due to additional costs for some of the 33 special UN political missions which include UN envoys for Syria, Yemen, Libya and Sudan-South Sudan and large operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon failed to win assembly approval for a key proposal – 
allowing the UN secretariat greater flexibility to move staff from headquarters to the field.

Negotiators said they came close to agreement, but the issue was delayed until the General Assembly meets again in March.