The United Nations is facing a severe shortage of cash, and unless more governments pay their annual dues, “our work and our reforms are at risk“, the UN chief António Guterres told the members on 8 October in a statement by his spokesperson. He called on governments to address the reasons for the crisis and agree on measures to put the UN on a sound financial footing.

129 States out of 193 have paid their regular annual dues. Up to 8 October, members have paid $1.99 billion towards the regular budget assessment, which means there is an outstanding amount of around $1.3 billion for the year.

Guterres warned that budget implementation was no longer being driven by planning, but according to the availability of cash at hand:

“We are now driven to prioritize our work on the basis of the availability of cash, thus undermining the implementation of mandates decided by inter-governmental bodies”, he added, explaining that vacant posts won’t be filled, travel will be limited, and meetings may have to be canceled. The shortage would also affect regional commissions, he warned.