The United Nations is running a deficit of $230 million, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said, and may run out of money by the end of October. In a letter for the 37,000 employees at the UN secretariat, Guterres said unspecified “additional stop-gap measures” would have to be taken to ensure salaries and entitlements are paid. To cut costs, Guterres mentioned postponing conferences and meetings and reducing services, while also restricting official travel to only essential activities and taking measures to save energy. There are 193 member states in the UN, but only 129 have paid their regular contributions to the budget. The UN’s regular budget for the year is $5.4 billion and it is separate from the peacekeeping budget of $6.5 billion. India paid up its $23.25 million dues for the regular budget on January 30 itself, one of the few countries to pay up on time. One of the reasons for the shortfall is the US, which funds 22 per cent of the UN’s regular budget amounting $674 million, not having paid up in full so far. On this edition of the big picture we will analyse the financial crisis in the UN.
Nitin Desai, Former Deputy Secretary General, United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, Former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs
Dilip Sinha, Former Ambassador
Anchor: Frank Rausan Pereira
Producer: Sagheer Ahmad