UN told to pay $47-mn bill
India has approached the United Nations for settling a $46.60-million charge for running peacekeeping mission during the past five-six years. Jayanth Jacob reports.
India has approached the United Nations for settling a $46.60-million charge for running peacekeeping mission during the past five-six years.
But given the financial crisis the UN is going through due to non-payment of budgetary dues by the US and Japan, the money may take a while to come in.
The UN is running 14 peacekeeping operations, and the expenses for the period from July 1, 2010 to June 31, 2011 are estimated at $7.83 billion.
The Indian peacekeepers - 8,680 troops and police personnel - are employed in key in Sudan, Congo, Cote'd' Ivoire, Haiti and Liberia.
India has a claim of $24.86 million for troop and policing costs. A sum of $21.74 million is due for equipment.
Only Pakistan and Bangladesh have bigger peacekeeping contingents than India. While Pakistan has huge due of $53.2 million, Bangladesh - one of the poorest countries in the world - has a $47.8-million due yet to be paid.
Usually, respective governments first foot the salary and foreign allowance bills of their troops and later get reimbursed by the UN. Then comes the equipment expense for the missions.
"It's our understanding that the non-timely payment of budgetary contributions that UN member countries contribute caused the delay in the payment," explained a government official.
The finances of the 192-member UN are not in a good shape. Last year, the UN said it faced a $4.1-billion budget deficit with the US alone owing $2 billion.
Japan has the second highest due of $654 million, while Britain owes $307 million.
While many member countries, including the US, contested the UN claim, last year's economic downturn was cited as a reason for many members for non-payment of UN dues.