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Press Conference BY Department of Management on United Nations Assessed Contributions

Department of Public Information . News and Media Division . New York

14 October 2010

Recognizing that the global economic crisis had made it difficult for some Member States to hand over their contributions on time, the United Nations senior management official told correspondents today that the United States was responsible for 88 per cent of the outstanding $787 million in assessed contributions earmarked for the regular budget.

Angela Kane, Under-Secretary-General for Management, at her semi-annual briefing on the Organization’s financial situation, said four other Member States — Mexico, Chile, Venezuela and Iran — were responsible for another 9 per cent of the outstanding amount due to the Organization’s regular budget. Financial assessments and payments for this regular budget were lower in 2010 than in 2009, with assessments down by $332 million and payments down by $371 million.

She acknowledged the 13 Member States — Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Germany, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania — that had paid all their contributions in full as of 14 October.

United Nations Controller Jun Yamazaki later told reporters that the amounts owed to the United Nations regular budget by Mexico, Chile, Venezuela and Iran were $50 million, $9 million, $7 million and $5 million, respectively.

Outstanding contributions for the peacekeeping budget, which ran on a different cycle, tallied $3.2 billion as of this week, about $1.1 billion more than the tally outstanding at this time in 2009. She termed this “a bit of a concern”. But she later noted that the fiscal year of the United States Government began 1 October and the United Nations had recently received a large sum of money for peacekeeping. Peacekeeping assessments were greater this year as a result of a prior review of the scale of assessments and these newer and higher assessments had been issued earlier this year.

The United Nations budget for peacekeeping operations runs from 1 July to 30 June, rather than the regular budget year of 1 January to 31 December, and assessments are levied separately for each operation. As those assessments can be issued only through a mandate period approved by the Security Council, the assessments are made for different periods throughout the year.

Turning to the finances of the international tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, she said the amount outstanding was $50 million, about $13 million less than 2009. Meanwhile, about $1.4 million had been paid towards the $1.9 billion budget that the General Assembly approved for the Capital Master Plan in 2006.

“What it means is that the financial indicators are mixed,” said Ms. Kane, adding that $4.1 billion in Member States’ overall contributions currently remained outstanding and the year-end picture would depend on incoming contributions. “We will take stock at that time,” she added.

In response to a reporter’s question, Mr. Yamazaki said the overall unpaid contributions of the United States amounted to $1.2 billion. This enveloped $691 million for the regular budget, $431 billion for peacekeeping operations, $34 million for the tribunals, and $75 million for the Capital Master Plan. He added that some countries had different budget cycles than the United Nations and were not yet in a position to make their payments.

Answering another question, on security for the perimeters of the New York Headquarters property, Ms. Kane said United Nations officials had held intensive consultations with host country officials from New York and Washington, D.C. Security inside the compound was the responsibility of the United Nations while the host country was responsible for security at its perimeter.

To a question on the notification system used for Member States that had fallen behind in their contributions, Mr. Yamazaki said that, at the beginning of the year the Missions received a letter with an invoice stating their annual assessment. They were also reminded of late payments when United Nations officials presented the figures to the Assembly twice a year. Ms. Kane added that if a State fell behind in its payment and was close to losing its ability to vote in the Assembly, a reminder was issued to the particular State, as well as to all Member States.

Ms. Kane responded to questions about reported malfunctions with Inspira, the United Nations new career portal system, by saying that any new software system, unless it was purchased off the shelf, would encounter glitches. The glitches with Inspira had been and were being addressed. Galaxy, the previous career portal system, was still in use for peacekeeping operations.

In response to the same reporter’s question on “the buzz” that the Inspira system was prejudiced against external candidates, and that the review system “reeked of cronyism”, Ms. Kane said she was not aware of the system being prejudiced. The system did not differentiate between internal and external candidates. There could not be cronyism as the system was agnostic, she added. The applications were the same for internal and external candidates.

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For information media • not an official record

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