The United Nations warned that it may not be able to pay its staff on time because the US owes it $1 billion

Trump UN

  • United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres revealed the
    dire state of the organization’s finances —which he described as
    “severe”— in
    a speech made on Tuesday.
  • He announced that the UN are “exhausting” peacekeeping cash
    reserves and warned that the organization may not be able to pay
    some staff next month.
  • The announcement comes after the US, the largest contributor to
    the UN, drastically cut funding to the organization this year.

  • According to a report from CNN,
    the US currently owes the UN
    around $1 billion in unpaid contributions.
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    Insider’s homepage for more stories.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that the
organization may not have enough funds to pay staff salaries next
month as it is dealing with its worst funding deficit in a decade,
made worse by an outstanding bill of $1 billion in unpaid US dues,

according to a report from CNN.

Guterres revealed the dire financial situation of the UN

during his speech
on Tuesday. 

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The Secretary General detailed the proposed budget for 2020,
before going on to outline how the UN is “facing a severe financial
crisis.”  

“This month, we will reach the deepest deficit of the decade,”
he said.

“We risk exhausting the closed peacekeeping cash reserves, and
entering November without enough cash to cover payrolls.” 

The funding shortfall is being blamed on many UN member states
failing to pay the organization their outstanding dues —
basically membership fees — for 2019. 64 of 193 member states
have yet to pay their full dues for the year, with the US the worst
offender, according to CNN.

CNN reported that the US is due to contribute $674 million to
the UN budget this year, but because of underpayments in previous
years, owes the organization over $1 billion, according to the UN
spokesman’s office. The US tends to pay its UN dues towards the end
of the year, CNN added.

“The Secretariat could face a default on salaries and payments
for goods and services by the end of November unless more Member
States pay their budget dues in full,” Stéphane Dujarric,
Guterres’ spokeman said.

FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the opening of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The US administration
announced in 2017
 that it would reduce funding to the UN and
other agencies run by the UN.

The US
is the largest financial contributor to the UN
, followed by the
United Kingdom and Germany. This year it is expected to contribute
around 22% of the UN’s total budget, CNN reported.

In 2017, the US negotiated a cut of around $285 million to the
UN’s $5.5 billion budget for the 2018-19 financial year, Nikki
Haley, who was the US ambassador to the UN at the time said,

according to CNN
.

Read more:
Trump’s budget cuts to UN programs could end up being a bad deal
for the US military

Guterres also detailed the enforcement of “extraordinary
measures” in order to cope with the shortage of cash.

These measures include limited travel for employees, the
deferral or cancellation of meetings, and cutting back hours of
support from staff. 

He also announced that the UN will not be filling empty
vacancies in this period and urged all member states of the UN to
adhere to their financial obligations “on time and in
full.”  


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The United Nations warned that it may not be able to pay its staff on time because the US owes it billion