UN's overall financial situation 'positive,' top management official reports

10 May 2013

The current financial picture of the United Nations is positive, a top official reported today, adding that the Organization still needs to keep a close eye on its assets.

“In 2012 the financial situation was healthy, thanks to the very positive efforts of Member States,” the Under-Secretary-General for Management, Yukio Takasu, told reporters in New York.

Having earlier briefed the Fifth Committee - the General Assembly body dealing with administrative and budgetary issues - Mr. Takasu said that cash balances are projected to be positive for all categories at the end of this year.

In connection with the Organization's regular budget, he said that unpaid assessments amounted to $327 million, a lower figure than in 2011, when they totaled $454 million. This, he said, was a sign of improvement. For this year, the assessments total $2.6 billion out of which $1.4 billion still remain unpaid.

The outstanding balance for peacekeeping operations decreased from $2.6 billion in 2012 to $1.3 billion as of 30 April. However, Mr. Takasu noted that unpaid assessments by Member States to peacekeeping operations amount to $1.5 billion out of $3.4 billion in assessments.

As for outstanding payments to Member States, Mr. Takasu said the Organization is projected to reduce this amount from $745 million to $496 million by the end of the year.

For international tribunals, unpaid assessments amount to $178 million, a slight increase from $106 million last year, which he said is not of great concern. In addition, the Capital Master Plan (CMP) only has $3 million in unpaid assessments out of $1.8 billion, which he deemed “remarkable” and “encouraging.”

Overall, 29 Member States have paid their contributions in full compared to 36 member States as of May 2012.

Mr. Takasu said the only area of concern at the moment is that of the regular budget, due in part to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the Secretariat in New York in October. While insurance will cover the extensive damage to the basement of the Secretariat building, this will take time, he said, adding that repairs will have to be made and paid for before the insurance payment is received.

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