• U.S.

United Nations: The U.S. Pays Up – Partly

1 minute read

For the past two years a severe budget crisis has forced the United Nations to cut staff, restrict travel and otherwise curtail the activities of its sprawling bureaucracy. Despite such belt-tightening measures as turning down the thermostats at the New York City headquarters and depriving General Assembly delegates of their traditional water pitchers, Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar recently warned that the organization faced insolvency by the end of this year unless member nations met their financial obligations.

Last week the U.S. responded with a payment of $90 million. Washington, which provides 25% of the annual $800 million budget, has long complained of U.N. fiscal irresponsibility, and last year began deferring its contributions. Although the Administration has since reversed itself, Congress has yet to vote the full appropriation. Despite last week’s payment, the U.S. remains the top debtor, with $320 million still in arrears.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com