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UN Cash Crisis: World body may not be able to pay staff salaries

The United Nation’s Chief Antonio Guterres says the organisation is facing its worst cash crisis in nearly a decade, because member states have not paid their expected contributions.

In a statement issued by his Spokesperson, the Secretary-General said he had written to Member States, “about the worst cash crisis facing the United Nations in nearly a decade. The Organization runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month and defaulting on payments to staff and vendors.”

Several member states are behind in their dues payments. The UN will not publicly identify those countries, but sources told AFP the main culprits are the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Iran.

So, why is the UN running out of money?

At a regular briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told the media that only 129 States out of 193 have paid their regular annual dues, the most recent being Syria.

In all, 64 countries owe money to the UN. Also on the list of budget delinquents are Venezuela, North Korea, South Korea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel and Saudi Arabia, according to AFP.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says the only way to avoid a default that could risk disrupting operations globally is for the nations who haven’t paid their dues to pay “urgently and in full”.

The Secretary-General further asked governments to address the underlying reasons for the crisis and agree on measures to put the United Nations on a sound financial footing.

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