Pay your dues - United Nations tells govts amid near decade worst cash crisis


UN Secretary-General António Guterres wrote to member states this weekend regarding the "worst cash crisis" facing the worldwide body in almost 10 years, according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

"This is the only way to avoid a default that could risk disrupting operations globally", read the statement.

All UN members are required to make annual payments to help fund the bloc's regular budget.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned that the global body is in dire financial straits.

Guterres said the plan represented a "profound reflection on the path ahead and deep commitment to our shared work", according to the spokesman.

In October, the United Nations will reach its worst deficit in a decade, Guterres told the committee's 193 members.

"This translates into a cash shortage of US$230 million at the end of September".

"The secretary-general therefore looks to member states to resolve the structural issues that underlie this annual crisis without further delay", Dujarric said.

Only 33 other nations paid their regular budget assessments in full within this 30 day due period.

"We are at a tipping point", Guterres said, "and what we do next will matter for years to come".

"Effectively, any of one of instances where we're dealing with supplying stabilising mechanisms, are affected by not having a budget to satisfy them".

But the United States, responsible for 22 per cent of the budget, has not.

As India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin has repeatedly pointed out, this affects the countries contributing troops to United Nations peacekeeping operations that are owed millions to offset their expenses and salaries of the peace-keepers.

An official from the U.S. mission said the United States "will be providing the vast majority of what we owe to the regular budget this fall, as we have in past years". That means the US owes $674 million for the 2019 budget alone. It is separate to the peacekeeping budget.

"We are now driven to prioritise our work on the basis of the availability of cash, thus undermining the implementation of mandates decided by inter-governmental bodies, " Dujarric said.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General has presented a 2.94 billion dollars budget proposal for 2010, same as the 2019 estimates.