[WAJ NOTE: This is the 29,000th post at Legal Insurrection!]

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General for the UN is concerned that the international governing body is alarmingly short on cash.

According to Fox News, Guterres sent a letter to UN staff earlier this month saying there was “troubling financial situation facing the United Nations.” He went on, “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.”

Deadbeat member states who pay late or not at all are being blamed for the UN’s cash flow issues.

From Fox News:

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the U.N. is running out of money and is urging members to pay up amid a looming financial crisis for the international body.

In a letter to staff this week, seen by Fox News, Guterres says he has warned member states of a “troubling financial situation facing the United Nations,” which he says is caused by late payments to the U.N. by member states.

“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,” he says.

Guterres went on to say that the organization will be taking measures to look at reducing costs, in a way that won’t affect their mission. He said he also will be proposing to states various steps to strengthen financial stability at the U.N.

Trump administration threats to cut funding do not appear to be directly linked to the cash crunch.

While the administration has been eyeing carefully its payments to various U.N. funds and agencies, the U.S. has not yet reduced or delayed its payments to the budget, though due to the fall start of the U.S. fiscal year, payments usually come later in the year.

Secretary-General spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Thursday that the issue is “late payments and payments not yet received to the regular budget.”

“Late payment has an impact obviously on our cash flow. It may have an impact on our ability to deliver mandates,” he said.

The US pays more than any other member state, paying upwards of $14 billion in 2016, providing approximately 22% of the UN’s resources. $10 billion of which was voluntary and the other $4 billion was assessed.

The Brookings Institute explains:

In absolute terms, the U.S. is the largest overall funder at $14.1 billion per year, providing 22 percent of the sample’s resources. The U.K. is the second-largest funder at $7.6 billion (12 percent), followed by Japan at $5.4 billion (9 percent) and Germany at $4.4 billion (7 percent). These four countries contribute approximately 50 percent of the total funding, and the top 32 funders account for 95 percent. Notably, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the 17th largest funder and provides more than $880 million per year.


Fox News cited Hugh Dugan, a former US diplomat to the UN who “said that other countries could be mimicking what is perceived as the U.S. backing away from its commitments at the body of diplomacy and international relations.”

The Trump administration has been far more judicious in their scrutiny of how US dollars sent to the UN are spent.