France: 'Shortfall in financial contributions crippling UNESCO'

Paris, France (PANA) - Worried by the huge financial crisis facing UNESCO, Director-General Irina Bokova has summoned her management team to a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the protracted critical financial situation faced by the Organization as a result of the current shortfall in cash flow, stemming from the non-payment of major contributors to the Organization.

"The spirit of this meeting, which has generated considerable concerns amongst staff across the Organization, is for the team to face the current financial situation in which the Organization finds itself right today," said Bokova.

"As the Chief Administrative Officer of this Organization, it is my responsibility to call upon each of you to take action and for us all together to anticipate risks and devise measures to confront the present financial situation with the full sense of responsibility that falls upon each of you. No one should be in a denial mode”.

The Director-General urged the Senior Management Team (SMT) to ensure a close monitoring of the cash flow situation from the perspective of their respective Sectors and Offices.

In doing so, they are required to undertake an in-depth risk assessment of activities and operations, and to submit to her proposed mitigating measures to face the current situation up to the December 2017 and prior to the implementation of the contingency plan in the fall.

She highlighted that all managers should engage in a thorough review of their activities, looking at statutory commitments and costs, reducing costs across the board from activities to staff, technical expertise and travel by the end of June, prior to the implementation of the contingency plan in line with Executive Board Decision 201 EX/25 part II.

“In doing so, we are complying with our corporate responsibility to monitor the financial situation of the Organization as well as its implications for programme delivery," said Bokova.

The Director-General also underlined that unlike the period 2011/2012, the Organization has a risk assessment mechanism now in place and therefore managers have to devise and monitor their individual risk assessment plans.

She also stressed that there will not be any emergency fund to provide any relief as was the case in 2012, thereby creating additional pressure on the already strained budget resources.

Lastly, the Director-General requested the Risk Management Committee to examine in detail risk assessment plans across the Organization and submit to her its final recommendations.

She also spoke of her intention to address formal letters to the Chairperson of the Executive Board and to the President of the General Conference on the financial situation in order to maintain an open and transparent dialogue on this matter.

"Member States have to be fully informed and are an integral part of the response to the critical situation faced by the Organization” she added.

Sources say that a preliminary analysis of contributions received is currently underway.
-0- PANA VAO/MA 21June2017

21 june 2017 08:10:05

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