United Nations: The United Nations owes India USD 110 million, the second highest outstanding payment to any country, for costs relating to peacekeeping operations and troops, a top UN official said.
India, one of the largest troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping missions, owed the money for troops/formed police, contingent-owned equipment and consumables letters of assist, deaths and disability.
UN Under Secretary General for Management Yukio Takasu told PTI that as of October 3 this year, a total of USD 110 million was owed to India but the organisation is expected to begin making payments over the next two days to countries, including to those contribute troops and other personnel to peacekeeping missions.
The UN hopes to reduce by half its outstanding payments to member nations for various expenses by the end of the year.
Takasu acknowledged India’s large contributions to UN peacekeeping and said the amount owed to the country was among the highest that the world body owes to nations.
Apart from India, Ethiopia was owed the largest amount at USD 137 million, Pakistan at USD 109 million and Bangladesh at USD 108 million.
As of October 3, the UN owed USD 585 million to Member States for troops and formed police units.
Contingent-owned equipment claims totalled USD 1.3 billion, including USD 602 million for active missions and USD 86 million for closed missions.
“The Secretariat is monitoring the peacekeeping cash with a view to making payments whenever possible,” Takasu said.
“Payments are now being processed, and by tomorrow, the outstanding payments will be reduced from USD 1.3 billion to USD 815 million.”
Takasu said the UN Secretariat is making every effort to minimize the level of outstanding payments to Member States to USD 501 million by year’s end.
Takasu yesterday briefed the UN General Assembly’s main administrative and budgetary body – known as the ‘Fifth Committee’ – on the Organization’s financial situation.
He said with its limited cash reserves, the financial health of the United Nations is “totally dependent” on how quickly and how much Member States pay towards the organization’s operations.
Takasu’s semi-annual snapshot of the Organization’s finances included details on the regular budget, UN peacekeeping operations, the international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the Capital Master Plan account, which was created to manage the renovations of the world body’s headquarters here.
He said while the financial situation of the UN is “generally good,” the annual regular budget, which currently stands at USD 2.6 billion, has a gap of close to one billion.
France, the US and Italy owed the highest amounts to the UN, with unpaid assessed contributions totalling slightly more than a billion dollars in October 2014.