UN chief urges members to pay dues as international body faces financial crisis

The United Nations (UN) is reeling under alarming financial crisis and is also urging its member states to pay up to the international body, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said.

“Our cash flow has never been this low so early in the calendar year, and the broader trend is also concerning; we are running out of cash sooner and staying in the red longer,” Guterres said.

In a letter to UN staff, Guterres cited late payments by member states as the major reason behind looming financial crunch and said that UN will take some steps to reduce cost and will also propose several ways to states in order to improve financial stability at the UN.

This new cash shortfall is unlike those we have experienced previously, as of 30 June, core funding had a deficit of $139m, Guterres wrote in the letter.

“An organization such as ours should not have to suffer repeated brushes with bankruptcy. But surely, the greater pain is felt by those we serve when we cannot, for want of modest funds, answer their call for help,” Guterres wrote in the letter.

As of July 26, as many as 112 members, including India, have paid their regular budget dues in full. India made a payment of $17.91 million on January 29, 2018.

A total of 81 countries are yet to pay their regular budget dues. These nations include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Brazil, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Israel, Maldives, the United States and Zimbabwe.

Guterres said he has appealed to all members to pay their assessments on time and in full, and highlighted the risk of the troubling financial situation facing the UN.