Chief of United Nations Antonio Guterres has warned staff the global body is running out of cash, and urged member states to pay what they owe.
Guterres said in a letter sent to member states on Wednesday that as of June 30, the core U.N. budget had a deficit of $139 million and the United Nations had “never faced such a difficult cash flow situation this early in the calendar year.”
“An organization such as ours should not have to suffer repeated brushes with bankruptcy. But surely, the greater pain is felt by those we serve when we cannot, for want of modest funds, answer their call for help,” Guterres wrote.
Although an alarm about Trump’s administration threats to cut U.N’s funding may trigger, that is not true. The United States is responsible for 22 percent of the budget – the largest contributor. It traditionally pays a little late, owing to their budget year, however are paid up for 2018. As of July, all permanent members have paid their share. According to the United Nations, 112 out of 193 member states have so far paid their share of the core budget.
The U.S has been adamant the U.N overspends and is inefficient. Haley came to the United Nations, representing United States in January last year pushing for reform of the world body in a bid to cut costs.
Guterres told staff he was concerned with a broader trend: “We are running out of cash sooner and staying in the red longer.” He said the United Nations would take measures to reduce expenses with a focus on non-staff costs.
Under U.N. rules, if a country is in arrears in an amount that equals or exceeds the contributions due for the previous two years, it can lose its General Assembly vote unless the country can show its inability to pay is beyond its control.
Currently Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia are significantly in arrears but have been allowed to retain their vote. Only Libya is unable to vote.
With inputs from Reuters