New York City, the United States – The United Nations challenges increase but the budget is not enough To meet them. As it kicks off its annual high-level General Assembly session in New York City on Tuesday, the 193-member organization will try to unify an international community struck by a deadly coronavirus pandemic and a lopsided global economic recovery that is only worsening the divide between the world’s haves and have-nots.
The UN has seen its share of challenges in recent years: Security Council stalemate on Syria, an unprecedented refugee and migrant crisis, a global health crisis that has yet to be reined in – particularly in developing countries – and crippling funding cuts under the administration of former United States President Donald Trump.
COVID-19 continues to ravage developed and developing countries as demand grows for more financial aid, vaccines, and a unifying and guiding voice to lift all nations from the perils of the pandemic.
The coronavirus is sure to be the main pillar of United Nation Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s message when he delivers his annual address on Tuesday. He is expected to call for greater unity among UN member states and for developed countries with the means and vaccines to extend more help to nations that are less well off.
Last October, when presenting the UN’s nearly $3bn budget for 2021 – a net reduction of 2.8 percent from 2020 – Guterres warned member states that the organization was being asked to do more with less and struggling to fulfill its mandate.
“We are being forced to operate not based on strategic direction, but rather on the availability of cash, which undermines mandate implementation,” Guterres said.
In the 11 months since then, the demands on the UN have not abated, but it has gotten some budget relief under the new US administration of President Joe Biden.