United Nations staff may not receive their next month’s salaries, as member states have not paid up what they owe.U.N. operations in New York, Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi and at regional commissions will be affected.
According to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the UN will reach the deepest deficit of the decade and will have to risk entering November without enough cash to cover payrolls, meaning that its work and reforms are at risk.
Guterres told the 193-member U.N. General Assembly’s budget committee that if he had not worked since January to cut spending then “we would not have had the liquidity to support” the annual gathering of world leaders last month.
The United States is said to be the largest contributor responsible for 22 percent of the more than $3.3 billion regular budget for 2019, which pays for work including political, humanitarian, disarmament, economic and social affairs and communications. Among the top contributing countries are Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Rwanda. A UN spokesman noted that 129 countries had paid their dues for 2019 so far, which amounted to almost $2 billion.
An official from the U.S. mission said that it will be contributing to the regular budget as it has done in the past year. UN peacekeeping missions are funded by a separate budget, which was $6.7 billion for the year to June 30, 2019, and $6.51 billion for the year to June 30, 2020. The United States is responsible for nearly 28 percent of the peacekeeping budget but has pledged to pay only 25 percent – as required by U.S. law with Washington owing $2.4 billion for peacekeeping missions.