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UN reports positive financial situation, warns of cash flow

Posted on May 07 2014 | IBNS

New York, May 7 : The top United Nations management official reported on Tuesday that at the end of 2013, the Organization's financial situation was "generally sound", but cautioned that the cash flow would get tighter in the final months of 2014, as several major contributors would pay their assessments between October and December.

"As of now, the situation is very positive in all categories," said Yukio Takasu, Under-Secretary-General for Management, referring to the four main assessment areas: the regular budget; peacekeeping operations; international tribunals and the Capital Master Plan (CMP).

At the same time, toward the end of the year, the Organization's finances would bear closer scrutiny as some of the major contributors would be paying their assessed contributions very late. "We have reserve funds - the Working Capital Fund of only USD 150 million and a Special Account USD 233 million - so this situation will have to be watched very closely," he said, briefing correspondents at Headquarters after reporting to the General Assembly's Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

"The Secretariat will continue to monitor the cash flow to ensure prudent financial management of resources," said Takasu, adding that there could also be additional pressure on the Working Capital Fund and the Special Account if those resources needed to be used to bridge any CMP needs related to the ongoing renovations of the Organization's New York Headquarters complex.

Noting that some 26 Member States have paid in full as of on Tuesday, he said the overall regular budget remained "static" year over year - some USD 2.6 billion in 2013 to some 2.61 billion in 2014, but the UN peacekeeping budget now exceeded USD 7 billion.

In connection with the Organization's regular budget, he said that, unpaid assessments amounted to USD 1.39 billion, and unpaid assessment to the peacekeeping budget amounted to some USD 1.53 billion.

The level of outstanding payments to UN Member States for contributing troops, formed police units and related costs reflected an improvement at the end of 2013 and will decrease to USD 500 million at the end of 2014. "The Secretariat is making every effort to expedite outstanding payments, " he added.

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