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United Nations Facing Financial Woes, Employees May Not Get Paid

World

Staff

The operating budget of the United Nations has been in the red for $230 million since last month, September, and "the last cash reserves may be exhausted by the end of the month," said Monday in a letter, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Mr. Guterres wrote that "to guarantee the payment of salaries until the end of the year, measures will have to be taken," he writes in a memo to the roughly 37,000 staff that was obtained by the AFP.

To limit expenses during the last quarter, Antonio Guterres mentions the possibility of postponing conferences and meetings and reducing the services to be provided. Instructions were also given to restrict official travel to the most essential activities, postpone purchases of goods and services, and save energy.

"To date, member states have paid only 70% of the total amount needed for activities included in the regular budget of 2019," said the secretary general. He said he had "written to Member States on October 4 to explain to them that activities financed from the regular budget are at a critical stage."

According to a UN official speaking on condition of anonymity, Antonio Guterres had asked the Member States in the spring to be able to increase his working capital to have a little margin and not to have any cash flow problem. But they refused.

The United Nations operating budget for 2018-19, separate from the appropriations for peace operations, is close to $ 5.4 billion. The United States pays 22%.

"In the final analysis, it is the Member States who are responsible for the financial health of the Organization", remembers Antonio Guterres in his letter, implicitly mentioning the countries that do not pay their contribution or late, undermining the treasury UN.

No indication could be obtained immediately on the bad payers.

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United Nations Facing Financial Woes, Employees May Not Get Paid