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India paid on Friday the full amount of $23.4 million for this year for the general budget due only at the end of the month…reports Arul Louis from UN

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres presents Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Champion of Earth award, the highest environmental honour of the UN, in New Delhi on October 3, 2018. (Photo: UN/IANS) by .
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres with Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India has paid its 2020 annual dues ahead of schedule to the cash-strapped world body earning its thanks.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on Friday thanked India for sending the payment.

India paid on Friday the full amount of $23.4 million for this year for the general budget due only at the end of the month.

India is the fourth country to pay up for this year and is the largest contributor so far.

Very few countries pay their dues by the January-end deadline and there is a large list of countries in arrears from past years.

Of the 193 members, 47 have not paid last year’s dues creating a cash crunch, according to Dujarric.

United Nations General Assembly (Xinhua/Wang Ying/IANS)

Guterres has called it “the worst cash crisis facing the United Nations in nearly a decade.”

The UN is on an austerity mode curtailing several services and even the escalator at the Secretariat.

The UN could not produce the full summary of the Security Council debate on Thursday at the end of the day because of the cutbacks.

The General Assembly last month approved this year’s UN budget of $3 billion for its worldwide operations, a small increase from last year’s $2.9 billion outlay.

It also switched to a system of annual budgets from the two-year budgets that had been in force.

The UN has a separate, far larger budget for peacekeeping operations with a different fiscal year that runs July to June.

It is $6.5 billion for the current year.

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