UN in Geneva to Partially Shut Down for Second Time Due to Cash Flow Crisis — Global Issues


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  • by Thalif Deen (joined countries)
  • Inter Press Service

In the earlier lowerings, several of the Geneva workplaces stayed shut or partially shut from 20 December in 2014 to 12 January 2024.

But the approaching closures will certainly not impact UN firms—such as the World Health Organization (THAT) or the International Labour Organization (ILO), due to the fact that they are moneyed individually.

The that obtains its financing from 2 primary resources: Member States paying their analyzed payments (nations’ subscription charges), and volunteer payments from Member States and various other companions.

In 2023, according to Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General UNOG, the UN encountered its worst economic shortage in years, with the most affordable charges collection in 5 years and just 142 Member States (out of 193) paying in complete.

“This has resulted in a fragile financial outlook for 2024, severely impacting our operational capabilities”.

To address this, the United Nations Office at Geneva is charged with minimizing non-salary expenditures by 42%, relating to cost savings of over 15 million USD, while maintaining important features.

Starting April 22, UNOG will certainly execute critical cost-cutting steps to improve performance and guarantee sustainability

Ian Richards, an economic expert at the Geneva-based UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and previous President of the Coordinating Committee of International Staff Unions and Associations, informed IPS the expense of late repayments by participant states is being pressed onto personnel.

While intergovernmental conferences will certainly proceed nearly unblocked, personnel are being asked to execute their common job without a workplace, he explained.

“There isn’t enough usable office space remaining, despite what is being affirmed. Staff will have to work from home for months at a time. Those living in cramped city centre flats may need to relocate elsewhere”.

“ I am not sure all of this has been thought through,” claimed Richards.

The UN workplaces influenced by the lowerings consist of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)—and indirectly, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).

Further, the inquiry is: why can not the worry be shared? Why isn’t New York shut for a month, and after that Vienna, Bangkok and Nairobi?, asked Richards.

The United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) has to conserve $15.5 million due to the liquidity crisis.

“We are going to do everything we can, without touching our fundamental mandate,” the supervisor of the UN Information Service, Alessandra Vellucci, informed the Keystone-ATS, a Swiss information company recently. Each division has actually taken a variety of choices based upon the initiatives asked for by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Asked for his action, UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq informed IPS the UN in New York has no strategies to fold. “ We mentioned our cost saving measures in January and those still apply.”

In a meeting last February, Haq claimed that in order to guarantee liquidity for paying personnel wages, particular tough actions will certainly be essential. Hiring limitations will certainly require to be preserved throughout 2024, he claimed.

“Restrictions in non-post spending will also be critical to bridge the liquidity gap. As a result, until the situation improves, official travel will need to be limited to the most essential activities.”

“Purchases of goods and services will be postponed, unless absolutely critical. Hiring of consultants and experts will be minimized to the extent feasible”.

And most building and construction and upkeep jobs will certainly be put on hold, other than where the decreasing of significant building and construction jobs would certainly result in considerable future extra expenditures.

“We will implement energy-saving and other measures to reduce utility bills and curtail expenses on managing facilities. Non-essential security expenses will also be curtailed, as long as they do not impact the safety of our premises, assets and of our personnel and delegates,” claimed Haq.

On structure closures in Geneva, Richards claimed, personnel are really worried concerning this closure.

Studies and studies reveal that for particular features, crossbreed job, which divides the week in between workplace existence and job from home can have efficiency advantages, without bias to being readily available to meet participant states as called for.

“However, closing the office for an extended period will create problems. Many staff do not have homes that are equipped for long-term teleworking and for those staff they may need to relocate temporarily to their home countries, which will have knock-on effects”.

According to UNOG, several of the steps to deal with the UN liquidity crisis consist of the following:

Travel: Only operationally important traveling will be accepted.

Procurement: All purchase is put on hold unless operationally called for (Canine Unit assistance, substitute of broken/lost tools, and so on.). The acquisition of attires, flags, and so on. will be postponed.

Training: Only operationally important training will certainly be carried out (e.g. Firearms, Use of Force, First Aid, and so on.) with all outside training including prices to be put on hold.

General Building Operations

Reduction in home heating (20.5°C) and in the warmer periods, decrease in air conditioning (26.0 °C).

Minimized exterior lights, other than for that essential for safety and security and security.

All tools acquisitions or substitutes will certainly be quit, other than for operationally vital demands, e.g., ICT tools, developing facilities tools and various other essential products.

All overtime requires called for to keep the substance are under evaluation with a prospective change to normal functioning hours, which can trigger disruptions due to maintenance/work throughout normal functioning hours.

The summertime period of the language courses will certainly not be held according to past technique.


Time ports of a typical three-hour period within main functioning hours (from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m, and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) for conferences with seminar solutions will certainly be purely used (in line with General Assembly resolution 56/242, annex).

Mandated conferences have outright top priority. Nevertheless, servicing ability is dramatically limited and might not be enough to sustain all mandated tasks throughout optimal durations as presently prepared.

In order to take care of within existing restrictions, no identical conferences of the very same body can be suited. Servicing of casual assessments or functioning conferences, or conferences of local or various other teams of Member States, will certainly be suited purely on an “if available” basis.

For non-calendar conferences without analysis, use online self-service systems (e.g., Microsoft Teams), and use areas without solutions will certainly be readily available.

Any intergovernmental choice to execute a brand-new required within existing financial sources will certainly be subject to the schedule of ample cash sources and ability.

Meetings have to be validated or terminated to the Meetings Management Section by 3 pm the Tuesday of the week prior to the arranged begin day, in line with the well established technique. Late enhancements might not be suited while late terminations would likely result in idling of seminar maintenance ability or/and centers.

The accepted Geneva Calendar of Conferences and Meetings in 2024 has actually been thoroughly fine-tuned. Requests for modifications of days of the schedule sessions at this phase will certainly not be positively taken into consideration.

Audiovisual and conference insurance coverage solutions

All acquisitions or substitutes of webcast and various other audiovisual tools will certainly be quit.

Limited or no insurance coverage of some conferences, specifically of the Human Rights Council, when numerous simultaneous conferences are happening. UNIS might not be able to cover them all.

UNTV will certainly run with lowered core ability. Webcast online streaming will certainly be ensured on existing sources. There will, nonetheless, be no hint factors, or “chapters”, (which are typically placed in by the webcasters as the conference is continuous, and which consist of speaker-by-speaker info related to the appropriate minutes in the conference video clip). Broadcast insurance coverage will certainly be incredibly restricted.

Reduced solutions to Member States and the media on the stipulation of audiovisual products and assistance.

In specific, no picture solution will certainly be offered, consisting of for the Human Rights Council. Videos might not be captioned, released or dispersed to the asking for events on the very same day when there are numerous meetings/events taking place that day.

Library study help online and in-individual will certainly be briefly lowered.

How long are these cost-saving steps anticipated to be in location?

Unless we obtain an increase of funds to cover the allotments in the spending plan, UNOG states, “we expect these measures to be implemented until the end of the year 2024.”

IPS UN Bureau Report

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© Inter Press Service (2024) — All Rights ReservedOriginal resource: Inter Press Service


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