The staff of the United Nations (UN) might not get paid at the end of next month due to the failure of some member states to pay their outstanding contributions.
United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres is not taking this lightly as he raised an alarm that the UN was on the brink of a “severe financial crisis” owing to the failure of member states to renew their financial commitments to the global body.
He made this call in an address to the General Assembly yesterday while introducing the proposed budget for 2020.
“Our work and our reforms are at risk,” Guterres was quoted saying. We are “without enough cash to cover payrolls,” he warned.
Erring States: Some of the erring states are Nigeria, Israel, Brazil and Iran.
According to Guterres’s spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, only 129 out of 193 members have paid their contributions to the regular budget.
Guterres beckoned on UN member-states to fulfill their financial obligations on time and in full. Dujarric noted that 70% of the total amount needed for budget operations had been paid at the end of September 2019, slightly lower than this period last year when the UN had received 78% of its budget.
“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,” Dujarric said.
Meanwhile, a Congressional Research Service report published in 2018 showed that 22% of the UN’s regular budget is expected to be financed by the US.
According to CNN, the US is obligated to contribute $674 million to the UN regular budget for 2018-2019.
However, the country owes a total of $1.055 billion, which is cumulative money owed from previous years, according to the UN spokesman’s office.
Why Member-States refused to pay: The United States failed to pay its dues after President Donald Trump decided to reduce the country’s contribution to the UN.
Nigeria, on its own part, made a resolution in 2017 to disentangle itself from 90 out of the 310 international organizations to which it had financial commitments due to the cost implications. This announcement was made by Former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who put Nigeria’s annual commitment to all the international organizations to about $200 million.
Nevertheless, President Muhammadu Buhari had many government functionaries as part of a delegation to this year’s UN General Assembly sessions, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyeama, in September.