UN warns it is running out of money
United Nations faces non-payment of membership dues.
According to Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the United Nations (UN) is facing its «worst monetary crisis» in almost a decade, because almost a third of its member states have not paid their annual contributions.
Speaking to the UN’s Fifth Budget Committee on Tuesday, Guterres said the situation is so desperate that the General Assembly last month in New York was only possible because of the emergency spending cuts held earlier this year..
«The organization is facing a severe financial crisis, Guterres said. – More precisely, this is a serious liquidity crisis. The equation is simple: without cash, the budget cannot be implemented properly.».
UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarrick said in a statement on Tuesday that by the end of September, member states had paid only 70% of the total contributions to the organization’s regular budget..
This compares to 78% by the same date in 2018.
The UN said that although 129 member states paid their contributions to the organization’s 2019 budget on Tuesday – the most recent of which was war-torn Syria – 64 other countries still had to pay «urgently and in full».
This year, the debt of the member states to the UN amounts to $ 1.3 billion.
Guterres said the organization was so limited in funds that it had to borrow reserves set aside for UN peacekeeping operations to meet spending needs in recent months..
Reuters reported that the United States, the largest UN donor, still owes $ 381 million in previous regular budgets and a whopping $ 674 million in regular budget for 2019..
Washington usually pays its dues in the fall.
President Donald Trump has previously said that the world’s largest economy bears too much of a burden when it comes to the cost of a global organization. US President also called for UN reform.
Countries that reportedly have not paid their annual contributions to the UN include Brazil, Iran, Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Uruguay..
The Secretary General said on Tuesday that he was «forced to take extraordinary measures to deal with record cash shortages».
«Vacant positions cannot be filled, travel will be limited to major travel only, appointments may need to be canceled or postponed», – complained the UN Secretary General.
Guterres also warned that the situation would affect not only operational activities in the main UN centers in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi, but also the regional commissions..