|Dutch U.N. peacekeepers ride in an armored vehicle in Bosnia-Hercegovina in this Feb. 28, 1994, file photo. | AFP-JIJI|
China is set to replace Japan as the second-largest financial contributor for U.N. peacekeeping operations in the next budget year, according to estimates by the United Nations.
China, which currently ranks sixth by providing 6.64 percent of the U.N. peacekeeping budget, is expected to provide a 10.29 percent share in the year starting next July, behind only the United States with a projected 28.57 percent contribution.
Japan’s contribution will drop from 10.83 percent to 9.68 percent, making it the third most generous donor, ahead of Germany and France in fourth and fifth places.
“It is our duty to ensure that Japan’s voice and presence are not diminished” despite the country’s declining contribution of funds in relative terms, Japanese Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa said recently.
The U.N. budget approved for peacekeeping operations is $8.28 billion for the year through next June.
The decline in Japan’s contribution mirrors its decreasing share of the regular U.N. budget that finances operations on a calendar year basis.
Tokyo accounted for just over 20 percent of the general budget in the peak year of 2000. Its share has since fallen and is projected to drop below 10 percent next year for the first time since 1983, according to a report by the U.N. Committee on Contributions.
Japan, however, is forecast to remain the second-largest contributor to the regular budget in the three-year assessment cycle starting next year, after the United States, the committee report shows. China is projected to rise to third from sixth.
Separate from the outlays for peacekeeping operations, the regular budget for the 2016-2017 period is estimated at approximately $5.5 billion.
Despite its position as a developing country, China’s status as one of the five permanent Security Council members comes with an obligation to pay a surcharge toward peacekeeping, which factors into it passing Japan in that category.