Press release on financial problems at the UN
A few days ago, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres notified the New York diplomatic corps about a “severe financial crisis” at the UN.
As of October 9, 2019, over 50 member states, including the United States, have not paid their dues to the UN budget this year. As a result, the UN Secretariat could face a default on salaries and payments for goods and services by the end of November. The Department of General Assembly and Conference Management, which is the main body at the UN Secretariat, has to take austerity measures. Starting from mid-October, the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly will hold only two meetings per day from 10 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm, while previously diplomats often held meetings in the evening and during night. The volume of documents to be translated into the six official languages of the UN will be limited. The UN will also cut spending on electricity, air conditioning and security services.
It should be pointed out that over a period of the past few years the United States has been the biggest late payer. Its debt to the UN regular budget has exceeded $1 billion. This can be interpreted as Washington’s attempts to disrupt work at the UN. It has complemented its unpredictable and biased policy of denying visas to delegation members with financial leverage.
Russia, which makes its payments on time, has paid its contributions for 2019 in full and promptly. Moscow has once again called on the other UN member states to exercise financial self-discipline.