It appears that the United Nations might be in a bit of financial trouble. Recently, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres announced that the organization is running low on funds.
In a letter to member states, Guterres warned of a “troubling financial situation facing the United Nations.” According to the letter, their current financial woes are the result of late payments being made by members of the international body.
The organization has had its share of issues lately, but now it appears that they might be headed for serious financial problems.
The United Nations Is Running Low On Funds
Guterres’ letter reveals the fact that the United Nations is in a dire situation. He wrote:
“Our cash flow has never been this low so early in the calendar year, and the broader trend is also concerning; we are running out of cash sooner and staying in the red longer.”
In response to the decreased cash flow, the U.N. will reduce costs so that their operations are not curtailed. The Secretary-General will also draft proposals to member states that may make the organization more financially stable.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration indicated that it would cut the U.S. funding to the United Nations. However, it does not appear that the U.N.’s current financial woes are linked to the president’s actions.
The U.S. has not yet reduced its payments to the U.N., as the nation’s payments usually start in fall of each year. It is the late payments of other member states that have caused this current crisis. Stephane Dujarric, the Secretary-General’s spokesman, told reporters that the late payments could “have an impact on our ability to deliver mandates.”
Is This The Trump Effect?
It is no secret that President Trump’s approach to the U.N. has been different from his predecessor’s. Not only did he state that the U.S. will decrease its funding to the organization, but he also pulled the country out of the Human Rights Council due to its stance on Israel. Earlier this year, Trump halted funding to the UNRWA, the U.N. agency that provides aid to Palestinians, whose leadership allegedly uses the money to fund terrorism. Some believe that Trump’s stance on the U.N. could be influencing other member states. However, this may not be a full explanation.
Hugh Dugan, a former U.S. diplomat at the U.N., told Fox News that these other nations might be following Trump’s lead when it comes to financially supporting the organization. He also pointed out that the president has “continued to fund it at historic levels. Here is a wide misperception fed by Trump detractors and a combative media that his Administration has walked away from the U.N.,” he said, “Other countries mimic the U.S., and what they hear has led them to go slow on support and check writing.”
According to Dugan, it’s not Trump’s approach to the U.N. that might be causing other nations to be hesitant in providing funding; it is the media’s narrative. Either way, it is clear that some member nations are not as willing to fund the U.N. as they have been previously.
Could The Problem Be Conduct?
As stated previously, the U.N. has had its share of issues. Earlier this year, the news broke that 60,000 cases of sexual abuse were perpetrated by individuals working with the United Nations. Instead of rooting out the predators, the organization initially chose to cover up these incidents. The organization also has a troubling history of corruption in its ranks. Of course, we cannot forget the U.N. has also alienated many of Israel’s supporters.
Is it possible that the United Nations’ conduct has finally caught up with it? Could it be that nations are more hesitant to fund them because their Human Rights Council routinely condemns Israel while giving some of the world’s more notorious abusers a pass? After all, they can’t expect to be taken seriously when they allow nations like China, Cuba, and Venezuela to be a part of a council designed to oppose human rights abuses.
Whether it’s the Trump effect or the United Nations’ own misbehavior that is causing their current financial issues, it’s obvious that the organization needs to do some self-reflection. Perhaps it is time for the U.N. to realize that if they don’t change their approach to international issues, they will face worse struggles than this.