"Cash Crisis Facing UN In A Decade": Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Cheryl Sanders
October 9, 2019

"We run the risk of depleting our backup liquidity reserves by the end of the month".

The United States is by far the U.N.'s biggest financial contributor, providing 22 percent of its operating budget and funding 28 percent of peacekeeping missions, which now cost $8 billion annually. This translates into a cash shortage of $230 million at the end of September.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has again sounded a warning that the world organisation is facing a financial crunch and may run out of funds by the end of this month.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the United States is missing on the list of Member States that have paid their regular budget assessments as published on the UN website.

"The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation", Haley told the assembly in New York City. The UN will not publicly identify those countries, but sources told AFP the main culprits are the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Iran.

The U.S.is also in arrears in payments for the separate budget for the U.N.'s far-flung peacekeeping operations.

"We are at a tipping point", Guterres said, "and what we do next will matter for years to come".

In all, 64 countries owe money to the UN.

The US is the largest contributor - responsible for 22 percent of the more than $3.3bn regular budget for 2019, which pays for work including political, humanitarian, disarmament, economic and social affairs and communications.

129 of the 193 countries have already paid their 2019 fees, a United Nations spokesperson reported.

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.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres wrote to member states this weekend regarding the "worst cash crisis" facing the global body in almost 10 years, according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

The portion still owed?

US President Donald Trump has complained that Washington bears too great a responsibility to the United Nations budget and has called for reforms.

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