New Delhi, May 18: India is one of the biggest contributors in the UN’s peace-keeping missions. But now, an astonishing fact unveiled!
India which owned USD 38 million by the UN for peacekeeping operations, expressed concern. India said, “unjustifiable and inexplicable” delays in reimbursement to countries providing peacekeeping troops and police for UN missions.
It emphasized that recurrent delays in payments have turned the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) as “de facto financers” of UN peacekeeping.
Mahesh Kumar, 1st Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to UN said, “Reimbursement on time for peacekeeping is a genuine expectation”. He is addressing the 5th Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) session on “Improving the Financial Situation of the United Nations”.
On this occasion, Kumar stated, total arrears currently stand at a whopping USD 3.6 billion, nearly one-third of the annual assessment of the United Nations, adding that UN peacekeeping also suffers from delay in reimbursements.
He also stated, apart from the one billion dollar worth of unsettled reimbursements to TCCs, large reimbursements related to Letters of Assist (USD 178 million) and death and disability claims (USD 8 million) were also outstanding.
In spite of this, these amounts do not include the long pending Contingent Owned Equipment (COE) reimbursements of many TCCs, including India’s closed peacekeeping missions.
Giving foundation to this concern, UN Antonio Guterres said, in the UN’s April report about the financial situation of the UN, The UN owes India USD 38 million, among the highest it has to pay to any country, for peacekeeping operations as of March 2019.
Guterres had said in his report that the arrears to troop- and police-contributing countries could increase to $588 million by June 2019 “in the worst-case scenario.” The UN chief had expressed his concern about the deteriorating financial health of the Organisation, saying the United Nations is facing deepening liquidity problems in its regular budget, a trend that must be urgently halted and reversed.
As of March 31, 2019, the total amount payable to troop- and police-contributing countries with respect to active peacekeeping missions was USD 265 million.
He voiced concern over the “unjustifiable and inexplicable” delays in reimbursement, saying it negatively impacts on UN’s ability to maintain honest agreements with TCCs on other aspects of peacekeeping.
He also added, “This situation calls for serious introspection, these arrears and recurrent delay in reimbursement have turned the TCCs as de facto financers of UN peacekeeping. This is involuntary and beyond many TCCs’ capacity to pay; in fact, it eats up their already limited capacity to contribute”.
Earlier this year, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin had said that the financial situation of the United Nations peacekeeping, particularly the non-payment/delayed payment of arrears to the troop/police-contributing countries, is a “cause for concern”.
He had said that the practice of delaying payments to TCCs/PCCs, even as contractual obligations to others are met, cannot continue unaddressed. “It results in TCCs/PCCs bearing unsustainable burdens.
In some cases, TCCs and PCCs are owed 100 to 200 times their cumulative annual financial contributions to the UN,” he had said.