UN may run out of money by end of the month: Guterres

In this file photo taken on September 24, 2019 UN Secretary General AntÛnio Guterres speaks at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. (AFP)
Updated 08 October 2019

UN may run out of money by end of the month: Guterres

  • 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

UNITED NATIONS, United States: The United Nations is running a deficit of $230 million, Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Monday, and may run out of money by the end of October.
In a letter intended for the 37,000 employees at the UN secretariat and obtained by AFP, Guterres said unspecified "additional stop-gap measures" would have to be taken to ensure salaries and entitlements are paid.
"Member States have paid only 70 per cent of the total amount needed for our regular budget operations in 2019. This translates into a cash shortage of $230 million at the end of September. We run the risk of depleting our backup liquidity reserves by the end of the month," he wrote.
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.
Guterres had asked member states earlier this year to up contributions to the world body to head off cash flow problems, but they refused, a UN official said on condition of anonymity.
"The ultimate responsibility for our financial health lies with Member States," Guterres said.
Not including what it pays for peacekeeping operations, the UN's operating budget for 2018-2019 is close to $5.4 billion, with the United States contributing 22 percent.
 


Germany extends distancing rules to end of June

Updated 42 min 58 sec ago

Germany extends distancing rules to end of June

  • Up to 10 people will be allowed to gather in public places but Germans should be in contact with as few people as possible
  • Merkel’s government had been embroiled in disagreements with the least-affected states, some of which wanted to open up entirely

BERLIN: Germany has extended social distancing rules aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus epidemic to June 29, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government said on Tuesday.
Up to 10 people will be allowed to gather in public places but Germans should be in contact with as few people as possible, according to the rules agreed between the federal government and 16 states.
Merkel’s government had been embroiled in disagreements with the least-affected states, some of which wanted to ditch the measures and open up entirely.
Germany’s virus caseload now tops 179,000 with just over 8,300 deaths — much lower than European counterparts such as Britain, France, Spain and Italy.
“This success is mainly based on the fact that the rules on distance and hygiene have been implemented and respected,” the government and the regions said.
However, officials warned that further restrictions could be imposed if local outbreaks made them necessary.