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International Organisations

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much expenditure his Department incurred in paying subscriptions to each international organisation in 2007-08; what projection he has made of such costs for each organisation in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. (256963)

The information requested is as follows:

Subscriptions to each international organisation in 2007-08

Subscription

£000

UN Regular Budget and Other UN Contributions

72,382

Council of Europe

19,620

NATO

20,962

OECD

12,826

Commonwealth Secretariat

3,435

OSCE

3,223

Western European Union/Others

2,215

Total

134,663

Source:

FCO Resource Accounts 2007-08

(a) Subscriptions to each international organisation in 2008-09

Subscription

£000

UN Regular Budget and Other UN Contributions

73,507

Council of Europe

23,938

NATO

20,870

OECD

14,290

Commonwealth Secretariat

4,343

OSCE

3,745

Western European Union/Others

2,040

Total

142,733

Source:

FCO Supplementary Estimates 2008-09, 27 January 2009

(b) Subscriptions to each international organisation in 2009-10

The projected costs for 2009-10 are around £146 million but are uncertain. In negotiating with international organisations as they set their budgets for 2009-10, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will endeavour to limit budget increases to zero real growth. The fall in sterling will have an impact on subscriptions paid in US Dollars and Euros. The FCO shares the burden of exchange rate movements on international subscriptions with the Treasury under the arrangement whereby the Treasury fund 60 per cent. of any increase above a baseline of £102 million. Our foreign currency forward purchase contracts do include an element for our international subscription costs intended to help offset any further falls in sterling.