All UN missions are at risk and staff has been warned to expect default on salaries as the US and other member states hold off paying the annual fees.
The United Nations will run out of money by the end of the month as it faces a near-unprecedented funding crisis, the Secretary General warns.
Almost 33% of member states have not paid their annual dues leading to the $1.5-B black hole.
The shortage of cash means that Key staff vacancies have been left empty, travel limited to all but essential journeys and meetings deferred amid attempts to shore up the shrinking reserves. Staff have been warned there may be a default on salaries in November.
Please tell us why these ‘Pilot Fish‘ should not be unemployed too!
Peace-keeping operations, which are paid for from a closed budget, could eventually be scaled back, Mr. Guterres indicated.
“The organisation runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month and defaulting on payments to staff and vendors,” he said during the shock warning, adding: “Our work and our reforms are at risk.”
He urged the 64 members who have not paid up from a total 193 – to do so “urgently and in full”.
The appeal came during a committee meeting of the General Assembly on Tuesday morning.
But making the crisis explicit later in the day, Mr Guterres’s spokesperson, told reporters that a “default…could risk disrupting operations globally.”
Adding, “The Secretary-General further asked governments to address the underlying reasons for the crisis and agree on measures to put the United Nations on a sound financial footing.”
The countries who have fallen into arrears or offer a reason why so many had failed to pay up. But, as of the end of September, just 70% of the total memberships fees had been paid.
“To date, we have averted major disruptions to operations”, said the statement, but “these measures are no longer enough. 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.”
He added that the UN budget implementation was no longer being driven by planning, but according to “the availability of cash at hand…which undermines mandate delivery and goes against our efforts to focus less on inputs and more on results.”
The United Nations has closed its New York HQ to the general public to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, a spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said.
The move comes one week after a similar measure was taken at the main UN building in Geneva.
“As of now, we have not been advised of any COVID-19 cases amongst UN staff in New York,” UN spokesperson said in a statement.
Some delegations are repatriating vulnerable staff from New York due to a surge in coronavirus infections.
Some 3,000 people work in the HQ building overlooking the East River in Midtown Manhattan.
Have a happy healthy Easter and Passover weekend, stay home, Keep the Faith!