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.

2021 edition


Time to Meet the Moment

The UN system is facing unprecedented challenges - climate change, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing inequality, and armed conflicts are placing inimitable demands on the multilateral system. For the international community, then, it is Time to Meet the Moment through quality financing of multilateral approaches to development.

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Explore the data


Interactive online report

For our 2021 edition, we have produced an interactive online version of the report, featuring data visualisations which allow readers to explore in depth the financial flows from the top contributing countries to UN entities, as well as UN expenditure data by country and year.

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