Financing the United Nations development system


Since 2015, we have, in partnership with the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, produced an influential annual report on the financing of the UN development system.

The UN development system currently faces an extraordinary opportunity to reaffirm its role and relevance in a rapidly changing world. The ambition and broad scope of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development both demands and emboldens UN development system reform. With the function of the system increasingly dictated by the nature of the funding it receives, the issue of financing is at the centre of any credible repositioning.

Since 2015, in partnership with the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, the Foundation has supported the UN Secretary-General’s reform agenda on repositioning the UN development system through the production of an annual report, Financing the UN Development System. We launch the report in September every year ahead of the the UN General Assembly in New York, usually followed by events in Brussels, Geneva and Washington, DC.

Each edition of the report provides a thorough overview of the UN development system’s revenue and expenditure, providing in essence a cheat-sheet for decision makers within Member States and UN entities. The second half of the report features a collection of essays by authors from outside and inside the UN system where they present their ideas on the financing trends impacting the Sustainable Development Goals.

2020 edition


Time to Walk the Talk

The landscape of global affairs has dramatically shifted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UN development system now faces a significant challenge: how best to support and complement multilateral responses to the pandemic.

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Explore the data


Interactive version

For our 2020 edition, we have produced an interactive version, featuring three data visualisations which allow readers to explore in greater detail the financial flows from the top contributors to UN entities, as well as UN expenditure data by country.

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