TRIMMING THE BUDGET: CUT TRAVEL NOT STAFF

 

MARCH 7, 2020

TRIMMING THE BUDGET: CUT TRAVEL NOT STAFF

Arguments about the UN budget continue even after essential deliberations at the General Assembly Fifth Committee, which continued throughout Christmas holidays. The Administrative Committee on Budget Questions (ABACQ) deliberated cutting down the budget beyond what had already been proposed.

A cash crisis is predicted this year, particularly considering the number of member states that are not paying their dues.

Dedicated staff are worried that they will be the target rather than other available options, for example, cutting down the travel of a number of senior officials could offer more substantial savings than reducing the salaries of staff, including those working in New York and Geneva.

With all due respect to the still unclear functionals of the Deputy Secretary-General, curtailing her continuous travel could save much more than letting the hard-working substantive staff go. The same would apply to certain other officials used to spend more time abroad than in the office. An interim step would be to use teleconference systems rather than airplane tickets. By taking advantage of the technologies available, UN could save money, maintain jobs and still accomplish the required tasks.