China, Brazil, India and other emerging powers agreed to major increases in their United Nations payments as the global body hammered out a new budget deal this week to avoid its own fiscal cliff.
The boom countries will pay more as economic crisis allows nations such as Britain,
Germany, France and Japan to cut their contributions.
While the sums involved are not huge by global standards - the revised UN budget for 2012-2013 is $5.4 billion - diplomats say the new shareout is a snapshot of the world's changing economic fortunes.
And the UN system has maintained sum of its quirks with Greece, despite its economic slump, still paying more than India, which aspires to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
UN contributions are worked out according to a country's share of global gross national income (GNI). "This is a start brought on by the economic crisis in Europe, but there will have to be more changes eventually," said one western diplomat.
Another noted the new payment breakdown reflects changes around the world, and that the contrast between Greece and India was "striking".
Greece's share of budget will decrease from 0.7 to 0.64%. But its share of global GNI is 0.5%, while India, which pays about the same amount, accounts for 2.2% of world GNI.
A series of rebates allows various countries to claim reductions in payments. China and the other emerging powers still pay less than their share of the world economy. The Europeans and Japan still pay more.
Under the deal agreed this week, a pay freeze has been ordered for the estimated 10,000 UN staff in New York.
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