United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned that the global body is in dire financial straits More
09 October, 2019, 18:29
The Secretary-General said he had written to Member States "about the worst cash crisis facing the United Nations in almost a decade". As in, it might run out of it by Halloween. At the end of May 2019, Guterres said the organization was in arrears for $492 million.
United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the secretary-general has written to all members saying "the organization runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month and defaulting on payments to staff and vendors".
The United States is the largest contributor - responsible for 22 percent of the more than $3.3 billion regular budget for 2019, which pays for work including political, humanitarian, disarmament, economic and social affairs, and communications.
Several member states are behind in their dues payments.
The logo of the United Nations is seen on the outside of their headquarters in NY.
"We are now driven to prioritise our work on the basis of the availability of cash, thus undermining the implementation of mandates decided by inter-governmental bodies, " Dujarric said.
129 of the 193 countries have already paid their 2019 fees, a United Nations spokesperson reported.
The UN's regular budget for the year is $5.4 billion and it is separate from the peacekeeping budget of $6.5 billion.
Earlier in the year, President Donald Trump reportedly said the USA was bearing an "unfair burden" of the cost of the United Nations and called on the organisation to reform its operations.
US President Donald Trump has complained that Washington bears too great a responsibility to the United Nations budget and has called for reforms.
To cut costs, Guterres mentioned postponing conferences and meetings and reducing services, while also restricting official travel to only essential activities and taking measures to save energy. Agencies that received the greatest amount of money were the World Food Program, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The UN peacekeeping budget, which includes the UN's military personnel, is funded separately.
"Stressing the Charter obligation of Member States, the Secretary-General thanked the Member States who have paid their regular budget assessments, which is now 129, and urged those who have not paid to do so urgently and in full", the statement said.
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