Statement at the Main Part of the 74th UN General Assembly Agenda Item 137: Improving the financial situation of the UN

Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
October 18, 2019


Thank you Mr. Chairman.

We appreciate the President of the General Assembly being here with us. I would like to thank Ms. Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary General for DMSPC for her updates this morning, and would like to take a moment provide clarification on the amounts owed by the United States.

The United States will pay the bulk of its current assessments, both regular and peacekeeping, before the end of this year. We have recently made a payment of $180M and we expect to make an additional contribution of $96 million within the next few weeks. We anticipate making further contributions in November as well. The United States has made contributions of over $600 million to peacekeeping since the beginning of the year and the United States continues to be the largest contributor to the United Nations with nearly $10 billion in assessed and voluntary contributions annually, system wide.

As we have stated before, the amounts owed under the regular budget and in some degree for peacekeeping are a result of the difference in fiscal years between the UN and the United States with the United States making its regular budget payments after October 1 for the last 35+ years. Members should not be misled by some who would want to distort facts.

Mr. Chairman, we note the measures the Secretary General has taken to reduce expenditure levels and strongly believe that some of these measures including the strong focus on the strategic management of resources, should be a regular course of business. We should use this situation as a wake-up call that the United Nations and Member States cannot continue to conduct business as usual without regard to a budget envelope and constraints. We further note, as the Secretary-General has on previous occasions, that the financial situation of the regular budget has multiple origins, and late Member State payments are not the sole reason for his current financial difficulties.

In this regard, the United States strongly supported many of the proposals the Secretary General put forward to help address his budget management challenges and provide the authorities and flexibility he should have as Chief Executive Officer of the Organization to effectively manage resources. We were pleased that earlier this year, the General Assembly took concrete, positive measures to improve the financial management particularly with peacekeeping. This has allowed for full year assessments and reduction of the amounts owed to T/PCCs. But more needs to be done.

We look forward to engaging delegations on these matters during our discussions this fall.

Thank you Mr Chairman.