Published: Wed, October 09, 2019

United Nations 'could run out of money by end of month'

United Nations 'could run out of money by end of month'

While some countries have since payed their dues, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the regular budget remains on track to reach its "deepest deficit of the decade". As in, it might run out of it by Halloween.

"This translates into a cash shortage of US$230 million at the end of September".

"The Organization runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month and defaulting on payments to staff and vendors", a statement by Guterres spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

As of October 3, 128 of the UN's 193 member states had paid their contributions for 2019 in full. Member states have paid $1.99 billion towards the 2019 regular budget assessment, while the outstanding amount for 2019 for regular budget is $1.386 billion.

All UN members are required to make annual payments to help fund the bloc's regular budget.

The United Nations is running low on liquid assets and may not have enough money to cover staffers' salaries next month, according to Reuters.

United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said so far 129 countries had paid their dues for 2019, which amounted to nearly two billion dollars.

The secretary-general stressed that cash flow is a recurrent problem and the now driven to prioritize work based on cash availability, thus undermining its mandates and obligations "to the people we serve", Dujarric said.

An official from the USA mission said the United States "will be providing the vast majority of what we owe to the regular budget this fall, as we have in past years".

The United States is responsible for almost 28 percent of the peacekeeping budget but has pledged to pay only 25 percent - as required by USA law.

United Nations peacekeeping missions are funded by a separate budget, which was a $6.7bn peacekeeping budget for the year to June 30, 2019, and $6.51bn for the year to June 30, 2020.

Unless actions are taken, the body risks a default that could disrupt operations globally, the spokesperson said, including reduced travel, conferences and purchases of goods.

As India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin has repeatedly pointed out, this affects the countries contributing troops to United Nations peacekeeping operations that are owed millions to offset their expenses and salaries of the peace-keepers.

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