16 March 2017

Abrupt Funding Cuts Can Undermine Longer-Term Efforts at United Nations Reform, Secretary-General Cautions, Thanking Host Country for Financial Support

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

We have just seen the blueprint of the 2018 budget released by the White House.  The budgetary process in the [United States] is complex and lengthy, and it needs to be completed.  The Secretary-General is grateful for the support the United States has given to the United Nations over the years as the Organization’s largest financial contributor.

The Secretary-General is totally committed to reforming the United Nations and ensuring that it is fit for purpose and delivers results in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.  However, abrupt funding cuts can force the adoption of ad hoc measures that will undermine the impact of longer-term reform efforts.  The Secretary-General stands ready to discuss with the United States and any other Member State how best we can create a more cost-effective Organization to pursue our shared goals and values.

The Secretary-General fully subscribes to the necessity to effectively combat terrorism, but believes that it requires more than military spending.  There is also a need to address the underlying drivers of terrorism through continuing investments in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, countering violent extremism, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, sustainable and inclusive development, enhancement and respect for human rights, and timely responses to humanitarian crises.

The international community is facing enormous global challenges that can only be addressed by a strong and effective multilateral system, of which the United Nations remains the fundamental pillar.

For information media. Not an official record.