Tuesday, February 15, 2011

VITAL FOR MEMBER STATES TO MEET UN FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS, SAYS UN MANAGEMENT CHIEF

New York, Oct 14 2010

While noting that it has been a difficult year for many countries due to the global recession, a top United Nations official today urged all Member States that have not yet done so to meet their financial obligations to the world body so that it can continue to carry out its important work.

Under-Secretary-General for Management Angela Kane told a news conference at UN Headquarters that so far, 13 of the 192 Member States have paid in full all of the assessments that were due and payable as of today.

These include assessments for the UN regular budget, as well as for its peacekeeping operations, for the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia and the Headquarters renovation project known as the Capital Master Plan.

The countries that are paid in full are Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Germany, Liechtenstein, Monaco, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Tanzania.

Turning to the regular budget, Ms. Kane, who provided a snapshot of the UN’s current financial picture to the General Assembly on Tuesday, said that 119 Member States have paid their assessments in full, leaving 73 others who still have to do so.

The unpaid assessed contributions to the regular budget amounted to $787 million, of which 88 per cent – or $691 million – is owed by a single Member State, the United States, she noted.

Meanwhile, 9 per cent of the $787 million amount is owed by four countries – Mexico ($50 million), Chile ($9 million), Venezuela ($7 million) and Iran ($5 million) – and 3 per cent by the remaining 68 Member States.

“There is a concentration among some Member States who have not paid their assessments but, on the other hand, we also are recognizing the current global economic and financial crisis that has made it difficult for some Member States to contribute on time and in full,” said the management chief.

“Our work depends on the Member States supporting us financially and, therefore, it is critical for Member States, and particularly major contributors, to meet their financial obligations.”

The UN’s regular budget is approved by the Assembly for a two-year period. Last December it approved a budget of $5.16 billion for the 2010-2011 biennium. Contributions are assessed on a scale based primarily on countries’ ability to pay. In 2000, the Assembly fixed a maximum of 22 per cent of the budget for any one contributor.

As for the outstanding amount for peacekeeping operations, Ms. Kane said that it stood at $3.2 billion as of 5 October, about $1.3 billion more than at year’s end in 2009.

In addition, the Organization’s debt to Member States that contributed troops and equipment to peacekeeping operations would be about $430 million at the end of 2010. This is less than the projection made in May and less than the $775 million outstanding at the end of 2009.

On the $1.9 billion Capital Master Plan, she noted that $1.4 billion had been received so far, leaving $84 million still outstanding.

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For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news