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UN to reach "deepest deficit of the decade," Guterres says

UN to reach "deepest deficit of the decade," Guterres says

08/10 - 15:12 - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that the organization will reach "the deepest deficit of the decade."

"This month, we will reach the deepest deficit of the decade. We risk exhausting the closed peacekeeping cash reserves, and entering November without enough cash to cover payrolls," the UN chief told the Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the proposed program budget for 2020.

"This situation would have been much worse if I had not worked since January to curtail spending, align our real vacancy rate with the approved rate, and manage cash on a month-by-month basis," he said.

"Without these steps, we would not have had, I repeat, we would not have had the liquidity to support the opening of the General Assembly debate and the mandated high-level meetings last month," the secretary-general noted.

The UN chief said that last week, he was forced to introduce "extraordinary measures" to cope with the record-level shortage of cash.

"Vacant posts cannot be filled, travel will be limited to essential travel only, meetings may have to be canceled or deferred, webcasting of non-mandated events will not be available, and support to meetings will have to be adjusted," he said.

"The Secretariat will no longer be able to support any non-mandated events after 6 p.m. These steps will affect our operations in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi and at the regional commissions," Guterres said.

The Fifth Committee is the committee of the UN General Assembly with responsibilities for administrative and budgetary matters. The assembly also considers and approves financial and budgetary arrangements with specialized agencies and makes recommendations to the agencies concerned.

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