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United Nations Nations Unies

INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM MEMORANDUM INTERIEUR

TO: All Heads of Departments, Offices, Regional Commissions, D AT E : 1 April 2020


A: Offices away from Headquarters, Special Political Missions,
and Peacekeeping Missions
REFERENCE:

THROUGH:

S/C DE:

FROM: Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary-General


DE: for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance

SUBJECT: Measures to manage the financial situation of the Organization


OBJET:

1. In his memorandum of 28 January 2020 to all heads of entities funded from


regular budget, the Secretary-General expressed caution about the precariousness of the
financial situation for 2020. He drew attention to the risk of insufficient cash to
implement the programme of work for 2020, unless Member States paid their
contributions on time, and set out revised emergency measures for regular budget
entities to limit or curtail expenses to the extent possible. He stressed that he would
continue to assess the situation to determine if, and when, additional measures would
be required.

2. Following a recent such assessment, and noting the deteriorating liquidity


situation in both regular budget and peacekeeping operations, the Secretary-General
has directed additional measures across all Secretariat entities to manage expenditures
and liquidity. He has written to Member States today to raise the alarm about the
deteriorating liquidity situation and inform them that he is once again compelled to
implement additional measures that may hinder mandate delivery, and reiterated his
earlier requests for durable solutions to the problem.

3. Although the immediate impact of the move to alternate working conditions in


response to the COVID-19 outbreak will lead to reductions in travel, contractual
services, and general operating expenses across all budgets, we also anticipate new
demands upon our operations and services as we respond to the global health crisis. We
have taken this into account in formulating our measures to deal with the evolving
financial situation.

4. In order to ensure that all Secretariat operations in headquarters and the field can
continue, that salaries and entitlements can be paid on time, and other financial
obligations met without delays, I am outlining below a series of measures to manage
expenditures and liquidity.

Liquidity situation of regular budget operations (including SPMs)

5. Contributions for regular budget assessments have sharply declined in the first
quarter of 2020 relative to earlier years; the payment of assessments by Member States
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currently stands at 42 per cent compared to 50 per cent by this time in earlier years.
This has resulted in a collection gap of more than $220 million. Outstanding
contributions for regular budget have reached $2.27 billion; we also do not have a clear
indication of when many outstanding payments might be received. Therefore, we risk
confronting a cash deficit sooner in the year unless we slow down spending.

6. It has therefore been decided to:

• temporarily suspend all hiring for regular budget vacancies, including TJOs,
until the situation improves;

• limit all non-post expenses and postpone all discretionary spending unless it
is directly and immediately linked to ongoing mandated activities which are
not impacted by the restrictions caused by the pandemic.

Liquidity situation of peacekeeping operations

7. Peacekeeping operations also face increasing liquidity pressure. Outstanding


contributions stand at approximately $3.16 billion. The current cash position of about
$1.4 billion is barely sufficient to maintain field operations through the end of June.
There is not room for payments to troop and police contributing countries for the
March and June quarterly cycles, which will require nearly $1.1 billion.

8. For the March payment cycle, DOS and DMSPC are jointly evaluating a strategy
for ad hoc payments to troop and police contributing countries, pending confirmations
from Member States about upcoming contributions. In today’s letter to Member States,
the Secretary-General also sought notification and confirmation of plans for their
scheduled payments in the peacekeeping cycle which begins in July, which will help us
to plan and adapt reimbursements to troop and police contributing countries for the
June cycle.

9. I call on all field missions to urgently re-evaluate and re-prioritize their activities
in order to address their greatest operational needs including in response to the
pandemic. Recruitment should be slowed, and additional measures taken to contain
expenses to the extent possible. The Controller’s Office will work with the
Departments of Peace Operations, Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, and Operational
Support in order to provide guidance and assistance specific to field missions.

Financing of extra-budgetary activities

10. While liquidity may not currently be problem for extra-budgetary activities, we
must be prudent in managing their fixed costs, especially when we are unable to
execute the programmes that these funds have been provided for. I urge you to evaluate
all your extra-budgetary funding carefully, and seek appropriate extensions for such
projects and programmes, to ensure that we are not confronted with requests for
refunds of expenditures already incurred. The financial regulations prohibit the
financing of extra-budgetary activities from assessed funds.
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Summary

11. I recognize that these measures will hinder our ability to carry out the work of the
Organization at a time when the world needs the United Nations more than ever, but
we must exercise maximum discipline in order to ensure that we can carry out our
mandates without serious disruption. Please closely monitor cash outflows for your
activities and distribute spending based on available liquidity, in consultation with the
Controller’s office.

12. Not only will the Organization undertake unforeseen expenditures as a result of
the COVID-19 pandemic, but postponed or suspended activities, such as the rotation of
contingents, will likely spill into the next fiscal cycle. We also anticipate disruptions to
supply chain and procurement. We will factor all these into our budget performance
plans and reports.

13. I count on your cooperation, collaboration, and support to ensure that we can
continue operations despite the gravity of the financial constraints we face.

14. I wish you and your loved ones health and safety.

cc: Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti


Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan
Ms. Martha Helena Lopez
Mr. Robert Piper
Mr. Christophe Monier
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Distribution List:

Mr. Movses Abelian, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference


Management (DGACM)
Major General José Eladio Alcaín, Head of Mission and Chief Military Observer for
the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)
Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic
Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic
and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
Ms. Inger La Cour Andersen, Executive Director, United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP)
Ms. Elia Armstrong, Director, United Nations Ethics Office
Ms. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR)
Ms. Zainab Bangura, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi
(UNON)
Ms. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commision for Latin
America and the Caribean (ECLAC)
Ms. Bettina Bartsiotas, Director ad interim of the Interregional Crime and Justice
Research Institute (UNICRI)
Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations
Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS)
Ms. Michele Marie J Coninsx Barones, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism
Executive Directorate (CTED)
Ms. Jane Connors, Victims’ Rights Advocate for the United Nations (VRA)
Ms. Hadizatou Rosine Coulibaly Sori, Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau and
Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau
(UNIOGBIS)
Ms. Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary for the Economic and Social Commission for
Western Asia (ESCWA)
Mr. Stefano Del Col, Head of Mission and Force Commander, United Nations Interim
Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
Ms. Rosemary Anne Di Carlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and
Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and Acting Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for
the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559 (OSESG-1559)
Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
(OOSA)
Mr. Adama Dieng, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of
Genocide (OSASG-PG)
Ms. Shireen Lillian Dodson, United Nations Ombudsman (UNOMS)
Ms. Renata Dwan, Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
(UNIDIR)
Mr. Taoheed Olufemi Elias, Registrar of the United Nations Mechanism for
International Criminal Tribunals (UN-MICT)
Mr. Francois Lounceny Fall, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations
Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA)
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Mr. Joao Miguel Ferreira De Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs
and United Nations Legal Counsel (OLA)
Ms. Lisa Kim Filipetto, Head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia
(UNSOS)
Ms. Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications (DGC)
Ms. Alayne Alicia Frankson-Wallace, Executive Director for the Office of
Administration of Justice (OAJ)
Ms. Virginia Gamba De Potgieter, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for
Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC)
Ms. Bience Gawanas, Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA)
Major General Mehari Zewde Gebremariam, Force Commander of the United Nations
Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)
Ms. Natalia Gherman, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General
for Central Asia, the Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for
Central Asia (UNRCCA)
Mr. Vladimir Goryayev, Representative of the Secretary-General for United Nations
Register of Damage (UNRoD)
Mr. Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen (OSE Yemen)
Mr. Abhijit Guha, Head of the United Nations Mission in support of the Hudaydah
Agreement (UNMHA)
Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild-Drummond, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the
Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations 75th Anniversary
(OSASG-75th)
Mr. Karim Khan, Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team
for the Accountability of Islamic State (UNITAD)
Mr. Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support (DOS)
Ms. Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact
(UN Global Compact)
Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD)
Ms. Shari Klugman, Executive Secretary, Advisory Committee on Administrative and
Budgetary Questions (ACABQ)
Mr. Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for
Myanmar (IIMM)
Mr. Jan Kubis, Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL)
Mr. Jean-Pierre Francois Renaud Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace
Operations (DPO)
Mr. Zhenmin Liu, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
Mr. Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and
Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA)
Ms. Jane Holl Lute, Special Coordinator on Improving United Nations Response to
Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (RSEA)
Ms. Najat Maalla M’jid, Special Representative on Violence Against Children (VAC)
Mr. Annadif Mahamat Saleh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali
and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in
Mali (MINUSMA)
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Mr. Jeremiah Nyamane Mamabolo, Joint Special Representative, African Union -


United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)
Ms. Catherine Marchi-Uhel, Head of the International, Impartial and Independent
Mechanism for Syria (IIIM Syria)
Ms. Rosemarie Ellen McClean, Pension Benefits Administrator of the United Nations
Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF-Pen-Admin)
Ms. Helen Ruth Meagher La Lime, Special Representative of the Secretary-General,
United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH)
Mr. Gilles Michaud, Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security (DSS)
Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk
Reduction (UNDRR)
Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and
his Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the
Palestinian Authority (UNSCO)
Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of the United Nations Human
Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament (ODA)
Ms. Fatoumata Ndiaye, Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services
(OIOS)
Mr. Mankeur Ndiaye, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central
African Republic and Head, United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization
Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)
Brig. Gen. Maureen O Brien, Acting Force Commander UNDOF
Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy of the Secretary General for the Horn of
Africa (OSESG HoA)
Ms. Navamanee Ratna Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on
Sexual Violence in Conflict (SVC)
Ms. Regina Pawlik, Executive Secretary for the International Civil Service
Commission (ICSC)
Mr. Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria (OSE Syria)
Ms. Simona Petrova-Vassileva, Director, Chief Executive Board Secretariat (CEB)
Mr. Urenthren Pillay, Executive Secretary of the Joint Inspection Unit of the United
Nations System (JIU)
Mr. Robert Andrew Piper, Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination
(UNDCO)
Ms. Jeanine Antoinette Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for
Iraq and Head, United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)
Mr. Pedro Guazo, Acting Representative of the Secretary-General for the investment of
the assets of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF-RSG)
Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet, Executive Office of the Secretary-
General (EOSG)
Mr. Knut Rosandhaug, Coordinator for United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge
Trials (UNAKRT)
Mr. Carlos Gabriel Ruiz Massieu Aguirre, Special Representative for Colombia and
Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia (UNVMC)
Ms. Stephanie Turco Williams, Acting Special Representative and Head of the United
Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL)
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Ms. Christine Katharina Schraner Burgener, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on


Myanmar (OSE Myanmar)
Mr. David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the
United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS)
Ms. Josette Mira Sheeran, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Haiti (OSE
Haiti)
Mr. Robert Lawrence Skinner, Executive Director at UN Office for Partnerships
(UNOP)
Ms. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
Ms. Elizabeth Spehar, Head of Mission, United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus
(UNFICYP) and Acting Special Adviser of the Secretary-General in Cyprus
Mr. Colin Stewart, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara
and Head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara
(MINURSO)
Ms. Ayse Cihan Sultanoglu, United Nations Representative to the Geneva International
Discussions (UNRGID)
Mr. James Christopher Swan, Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the
United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM)
Mr. Yukio Takasu, Special Adviser on Human Security (UNTFHS)
Mr. Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head, United
Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)
Ms. Hanna Tetteh, Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United
Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU)
Ms. Fekitamoeloa Tupoupai Manuula ‘Utoikamanu, CHigh Representative for the
Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island
Developing States (OHRLLS)
Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
(UNOG)
Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations Counter-Terrorism
Office (OCT)
Ms. Ghada Fathy Ismail Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on
Drugs and Crime and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna
(UNODC/UNOV)
Mr. Xia Huang, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region of
Africa (OSE Great Lakes)
Mr. Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for
Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
(UNAMA)
Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the
Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the United Nations Organization
Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO)
Resident Coordinators