The United Nations is having budgetary problems.
And if it doesn’t get more money soon, the U.N. could be out of cash by the end of October.
“Member States have paid only 70 percent of the total amount needed for our regular budget operations in 2019,” Guterres wrote.
As a result, at the end of September, the U.N. faced a “cash shortage” totaling $230 million.
“We run the risk of depleting our backup liquidity reserves by the end of the month,” the letter added.
If these budgetary issues aren’t fixed in time, the U.N. runs the risk of not being able to pay full salaries and benefits to all of its employees, the letter said.
In order to prevent this from happening, Guterres suggested cutting back on some nonessentials.
“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,” CBS News reported.
Guterres also proposed “additional stop-gap measures,” but the letter reportedly did not indicate what those might be.
The budgetary problems come after member states declined Guterres’ request to increase their contributions, an unnamed U.N. official told AFP.
“The ultimate responsibility for our financial health lies with Member States,” the letter read.
In the grand scheme of things, a $230 million budget shortage doesn’t seem like a lot when considering that the U.N. spends about $50 billion a year in total, according to Quartz.
But the budget Guterres was talking about is likely the general operating budget, which the U.N. General Assembly has set at $5.4 billion total for 2018 and 2019.
The Trump administration has long signaled a willingness to decrease the amount it contributes to the U.N., according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
And in remarks addressing the U.N. General Assembly late last month, President Donald Trump decried “globalists” within the organization.
“The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”
“It is why we in the United States have embarked on an exciting program of national renewal. In everything we do, we are focused on empowering the dreams and aspirations of our citizens,” he added.
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