UN owes Nigerian peacekeepers, others

un peacekeepers: Image: Alfred De Montesquiou/Associated Press

A sizeable deficit in the UN peacekeeping budget has led to a backlog of payments to some of its main troop contributors, UN Under Secretary-General for Management Yukio Takasu says.

Takasu said that the UN currently owed a total of $795 million 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 percent deficit amounting to $3.4 billion because of unpaid dues from member countries.

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.

Takasu said the UN was working to reduce the amount owed to peacekeeping contributors to $423 million 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 “sound overall”, 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.

However, with less than three months left until the end of the year, $945 million are still outstanding from the regular budget, with the U.S. owing $795 million.

Takasu defended the US, saying the country contributed 22 percent of the UN regular budget and had recently paid more than $1.5 billion in dues to peacekeeping operations.

Takasu said that with the cash flow expected before the end of the December, the organisation would end the year in the black.

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