UNITED NATIONS — The United States' failure to pay more than half of its assessed share of the U.N. budget has forced the world body to the brink of bankruptcy, Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar said Friday.
The United Nations will begin 1987 with only $10 million in hand, substantially less than a week's needs, he added.
The amount of unpaid assessments is larger than ever before, Perez de Cuellar said in a report to the General Assembly, in which he noted that full payment is a clear obligation under the U.N. Charter.
Perez de Cuellar did not mention the United States by name, but spoke of the "principal contributor," whose national legislature restricted its payment to the United Nations. Under the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law, Congress has limited the amount the Reagan Administration may contribute to the United Nations.
The United States' assessed contribution is 25% of the budget. This year, its contribution has been $148.8 million and the secretary general said that unless there are new developments, the American payment next year is likely to be about the same.