The top United Nations management official reported today that the Organization’s financial situation is “sound and positive,” noting, however, that there is “some worry” regarding the areas of regular budget and reserves.
“The financial situation of the United Nations is generally sound,” said Yukio Takasu, Under-Secretary-General for Management, in a briefing to reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, during which he also noted some concerns regarding the regular budget and reserves.
Mr. Takasu’s press briefing followed a semi-annual presentation to the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee, which is tasked with administrative and budgetary concerns, and where he focused on assessment issues, unpaid assessed contributions, available cash resources and outstanding payments to Member States.
His overview included details on the four main assessment areas: the regular budget; UN peacekeeping operations; international tribunals; and the Capital Master Plan.
Mr. Takasu highlighted that the Organization’s cash balances were positive at the end of 2015, except for the regular budget, which showed a shortfall of $217 million. This shortfall is being funded by a “very small reserve,” he said.
“I think it’s prudent to review the adequacy of the reserves,” he said, adding that he had made this point to the General Assembly earlier today. “The regular budget is always tight in the last quarter of the year, and this is expected in 2016. The question is whether the size of the reserve is good enough,” he added.
For the 2015 regular budget, Member States were obligated to contribute a total of $2.771 billion, an increase of $159 million from 2014. Payments received were $237 million higher in 2015 than in 2014, Mr. Takasu said.
Unpaid assessed contributions stood at $1.43 billion as of 30 April 2016, down $163 million from the same period the previous year.
For peacekeeping operations, which operate on a 1 July to 30 June fiscal cycle, Mr. Takasu said the total of unpaid assessments at the end of 2015 was $976 million, reflecting a decrease of $306 million from the previous year.
As of 30 April, new assessments of $3.9 billion had been issued, of which $2.4 billion remain unpaid, he said.
In addition, he said that outstanding payments to Member States – which amounted to $824 million at the end of 2015 – were projected to drop to $818 million by the end of the year, as a result of a continued acceleration of payments for troops, police and equipment.
The UN Secretariat will incorporate the information provided by Mr. Takasu today into a report from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that will be presented to the Fifth Committee on 11 May.
Source: United Nations
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