Sunday, 13 October, 2019


UN in the red, staff salaries at risk

To cut costs Antonio Guterres mentioned postponing conferences and meetings and reducing services while also restricting official travel to only essential activities and taking measures to save energy United Nations 'could run out of money by end of month'
Bennie Garza | 09 October, 2019, 18:29

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote to member states this week, saying that as of the end of September, they have only paid 70 percent of budget contributions, compared with 78 percent at this time past year.

The current figure, according to him, is eight per cent lower than the 78 per cent payment recorded in the same period in 2018. At the end of May 2019, Guterres said the organization was in arrears for $492 million.

A year ago it contributed about 22 percent of the UN's annual budget.

"This is the only way to avoid a default that could risk disrupting operations globally", read the statement.

"Our work and our reforms are at risk", the United Nations chief António Guterres told Member States on Tuesday.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned that the global body is in dire financial straits.

NEW YORK, Oct 9 ― The United Nations has an overall annual operating budget of several billion dollars, covering everything from humanitarian work to disarmament, but right now, it's just trying to make sure its employees get paid after this month.

Guterres had told the General Assembly's budget committee in May, "We are at a tipping point and what we do next will matter for years to come".

"To date, we have averted major disruptions to operations".

The answer: member states who have not paid their expected contributions, including the United States.

"The Secretary-General noted that this is a recurrent problem that severely hampers the Secretariat's ability to fulfil its obligations to the people we serve".

"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.

"The ultimate responsibility for our financial health lies with member states", Guterres said. The U.S. owes around $2.4 million for those missions; though the U.S.is responsible for 28 percent of that budget, the country has promised to pay 25 percent, the minimum amount required by law.

"To date, the United Nations has averted major disruption in its operations ... but these measures are no longer enough", spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. The equation is simple: "without cash, the budget can not be properly implemented".

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