New Delhi: The United Nations is running a deficit of USD 230 million and may run out of money by the end of this month i.e, October, Secretary General Antonio Guterres said. “To ensure salaries and entitlements are paid unspecified “additional stop-gap measures” need to be adopted,” Guterres said in a letter addressed to the 37,000 employees at the UN secretariat Also Read - Antonio Guterres Likely to Raise Kashmir Issue at UNGA Discussions
“Member States have paid only 70 per cent of the total amount needed for our regular budget operations in 2019. This translates into a cash shortage of $230 million at the end of September. We run the risk of depleting our backup liquidity reserves by the end of the month,” a news agency quoted Guterres as saying. Also Read - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Welcomes Pakistan's Offer to Release Indian Wing Commander
The Secretary General further said,”The ultimate responsibility for our financial health lies with the Member States.”
He also suggested some cost-cutting measures like postponing conferences, restricting official travel to only essential activities.
Speaking to the agency, one of the UN officials claimed that Guterres had urged member states to to pay what they owe in a bid to prevent cash flow problems but they refused.
Earlier this year, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin had also voiced concern over the world body’s deteriorating financial health. “The financial situation of the United Nations particularly the non-payment/delayed payment of arrears to the troop/police contributing countries, is a “cause for concern”.
He had said that the practice of delaying payments to TCCs/PCCs, even as contractual obligations to others are met, cannot continue unaddressed. “It results in TCCs/PCCs bearing unsustainable burdens. In some cases, TCCs and PCCs are owed 100 to 200 times their cumulative annual financial contributions to the UN,” he had said