The General Assembly has approved a $5.4 billion budget for the United Nations' regular operations during 2016 and 2017, a slight decrease from the $5.5 billion budget for the previous two years.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told diplomats following Wednesday night's approval that the budget "reflects the difficult global financial reality we have faced for a number of years."

He said "funding continues to shrink — while demands on the United Nations grow."

The regular budget is separate from the budget for the U.N.'s far-flung peacekeeping operations, which totals $8.27 billion for the year ending June 30, 2016. Many U.N. agencies are funded by voluntary contributions from member states.

The United States, the largest contributor, pays 22 percent of the regular budget followed by Japan with 9.68 percent.