UN may not be able to pay its staff ahead; facing a financial crisis: UN Secretary General

Addressing the Fifth Main committee of the United Nations General Assembly (dealing with Administrative and Budgetary matters) on Tuesday, Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the UN is undergoing a financial crisis and it may not even be able to pay the salaries of its employees in the coming month.

He told the members of the Fifth Main committee that had he not worked on cutting spending since the month of January then, “we would not have had the liquidity to support” the annual gathering of world leaders at New York last month.

He also said that: “This month, we will reach the deepest deficit of the decade. We risk…entering November without enough cash to cover payrolls. Our work and our reforms are at risk”.

UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that so far 129 countries had paid their dues for 2019, which amounted to almost US $ 2 Billion.

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Among the defaulters, the US owes US $380 Million for prior regular budgets and $ 674 Million for the 2019 regular budget.

Previously President Donald Trump had criticized the burden US is carrying on financing the world body and vowed to correct the imbalance. Since 2017, the US has been cutting its funding to many organs of the UN and other entities associated with it.

India has contributed its bit to the UN 2019 regular budget as of January 30th, 2019 itself. An amount of US $23.3 million has been paid by the country.

This raises a few questions as to whether it is time for the UN to aggressively reform itself? Despite being one of the highest contributors to the UN, India is not a permanent member of the UN Security Council.


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