A sizeable deficit in the United Nations peacekeeping budget has led to a backlog of payments to some of its main troop contributors – many of them developing nations, Yukio Takasu, UN under Secretary-General for Management has said.
Takasu said the UN currently owed a total of 795 million dollars to countries that contributed troops and needed to be reimbursed for the costs of the peacekeepers and their weapons.
Developing countries such as India, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Rwanda and Nigeria are on top of the list of outstanding payments.
Talking about the current financial status of the UN, Takasu said that peacekeeping operations currently had a 35 per cent deficit amounting to 3.4 billion dollars because of unpaid dues from member countries.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that to date, only 33 member states have paid all of their contributions to this year’s peacekeeping budget.
“This sounds alarming, but it isn’t,” Takasu said, explaining that recent changes in budget guidelines had caused delays in payment flows from countries.
The under secretary-general said the UN was working to reduce the amount owed to peacekeeping contributors to 423 million dollars by the end of the year.
“Between now and the end of the year, we are going to make serious efforts to pay more to those countries,’’ Takasu said.
Takasu called the organisation’s financial situation “overall sound,” adding that a record 134 countries had already paid their dues in full towards this year’s regular UN budget set at 2.6 billion dollars.
However, with less than three months left until the end of the year, 945 million dollars are still outstanding from the regular budget, with the United States owing 795 million dollars.
Takasu defended the U.S, saying the country contributed 22 per cent of the UN regular budget and had recently paid more than 1.5 billion dollars in dues to peacekeeping operations.
UN owes Nigerian peacekeepers, others $795m