The United Nations may not have enough money for staff salaries next month if member states do not pay what they owe, United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres warned.
He told the budget committee of the UN General Assembly of 193 members that if he had not worked since January to cut expenses, "we would not have had the liquidity to support" the annual meeting of world leaders of the month last.
"This month we will reach the deepest deficit of the decade. We risk … entering November without enough money to cover our salaries, "said Guterres." Our work and our reforms are at risk. "
A letter to the staff leaked to the CBS news shows that the global body is with a deficit of $ 341 million and could run out of money by the end of October.
Guterres said Member States only paid 70% of the amount needed for 2019 and "run the risk of exhausting our reserve liquidity reserves by the end of the month".
The United States is the largest contributor, responsible for 22% of the regular budget of more than A4.9 billion dollars for 2019, which pays for work, including political and humanitarian affairs, disarmament, economic and social affairs and communications.
Washington owes about $ 564 million for previous regular budgets and $ 999 million for the regular 2019 budget.
A US mission official stated that the United States "will provide the vast majority of what we owe to the regular budget this fall, as we have done in past years".
"Overall, the United States, as the largest contributor to the United Nations, contributes roughly to $ 14 billion a year in valued and voluntary contributions throughout the United Nations system," he said. officer.
United States President Donald Trump said that Washington is taking an unfair burden on the cost of the United Nations and has pushed for reform of the global body.
Guterres worked to improve UN operations and reduce costs. United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that 129 countries have paid quotas for 2019 so far, which amounted to almost $ 2.97 billion.
Guterres said he introduced extraordinary measures last month to address the shortage: vacancies cannot be filled, only essential travel is allowed and it may be necessary to cancel or postpone some meetings.
United Nations operations in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi and regional commissions will be affected. United Nations peacekeeping missions are funded by a separate budget, which was $ 9.3 billion a year until June 30, 2019 and $ 9.65 billion a year until 30 June 2020.
The main contributing countries are Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Rwanda. They pay their troops according to their national pay scales and are reimbursed by the United Nations. As of July 2019, the United Nations paid A $ 2117 per month per soldier.
The United Nations claims that its peacekeeping operations cost less than half of 1% of world military expenditures.