United Nations Report on Military Expenditures

What to report?



The UN Report on Military Expenditures has a layered structure of reporting military expenditures, which are reflected in a standardized reporting form. It has a matrix of 11 columns representing main force groups and auxiliary military spending such as military assistance, UN peacekeeping and emergency aid, as well as 4 main categories of resource costs, namely:

  1. personnel,
  2. operations and maintenance,
  3. procurement and construction,
  4. research and development.


Force structures

Reporting on various force groups’ expenditures is expected to be comprehensive. For reporting full details on military expenditures, Member States are encouraged to use the standardized reporting form http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/Milex/Forms/ in which they can report their expenditures for four major force groups:

  • Strategic forces
  • Land forces
  • Naval forces
  • Air forces

Under the column “Other military forces”, Member States can report military expenditures on military forces that are not included in these four groups and other armed forces, which, due to their structure, equipment or mission, are able to conduct military operations.

Governments using the simplified reporting form can report their military spending in three categories (land forces, naval force, and air forces) and others. http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/Milex/Forms/



Resource Costs

Reporting on various force groups’ resource costs is also expected to be comprehensive. For reporting full details on military expenditures, the standardized reporting form provides four categories of major resource costs, which are:

  • Personnel
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Procurement and construction (investments)
  • Research and development
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The standardized reporting form provides a number of subcategories for each of the four categories. The simplified reporting form includes only these four elements.

Member States can also explain or clarify the figures provided in the reporting forms – for example, on military expenditure as share of gross domestic product, major changes from previous reports and special circumstances. They can also provide additional factual and documentary information, such as lists and Web links of major publicly available documents and reference material reflecting their defense policy, military strategies and doctrines, “White Books”, etc. The “additional information” and documents can be annexed to national report.

For further information, please see the ODA Web page on Military Spending.

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