The United Nations is facing an economic crisis as an increasing number of member states don’t pay their annual dues.
Beyond that, as Global News reports, fewer people care what the U.N. does or says, with analysts suggesting the organization is becoming irrelevant.
In a financial rebuke, U.N. Secretary-General Antonia Guterres recently noted that 81 countries owe $810 million in annual payments to an organization that spends money on a plethora of projects around the world.
“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,” Guterres wrote in a letter to U.N. staff.
The cost of membership in the U.N. is based on the economic standards of any given country. Prosperous states with a high standard of living pay more than those with rampant poverty.
The financial hold-outs this year range from failing states like Syria and Somalia to wealthy ones like the United States and Saudi Arabia. American taxpayers subsidize almost one-quarter of the U.N.’s budget with an annual bill of $1.2 billion.
Professor Arne Kislenko, who teaches international relations at the Munk School of Global Affairs, told Global News that the U.N. has an image problem and that has become a cash problem.
“[The U.N.] is often perceived as being bloated and inefficient — sometimes, even quite corrupt … Many nations also see its current organizational structure as somewhat of a relic, no longer representative of the true nature of the international polity as it exists today.”