The United Nations is facing a severe liquidity crisis, reaching its deepest deficit of the decade.
Several emergency measures have been put in place by the UN to tide over the financial crunch. Official travel will be limited to the most essential activities, air conditioning and heating in the UN Secretariat has been reduced outside official working hours and catering facilities are being operated with reduced hours.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric was asked about the escalator situation last week and a suggestion was made that the energy generated from the Gandhi Solar Park, installed on the roof of the UN Headquarters, can be used to power the escalators, reports PTI.
On the suggestion that energy from the solar panels could be used to power the shut escalators, Dujarric had said, “I don’t think I’m an electrical engineer, but I will see where that electricity goes.”
India is among the initial group of over 30 UN Member States who paid their regular budget dues in full and on time to the world organisation as of October 11, 2019. India paid USD 23.25 million in regular budget assessments by January 31, 2019, the 30-day due period specified as per UN’s Financial Regulation rules.
India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu had also cited the example of the solar park to underscore that energy efficient practices at the UN will help as the world body implements the austerity measures.
Gift From India
Naidu had said last month that among the menu list of austerity measures that could perhaps improve the budgetary situation includes adhering to the advance air ticket purchase policy, better management of exchange rate fluctuations, energy efficient lighting and other environment friendly practices at the UN Headquarters and duty stations. “The Gandhi Solar Park, a token gift of India to the UN, which was inaugurated last month, is part of the solution,” he said.
The park, with 193 solar panels, installed on the roof of the UN building was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the high-level UN General Assembly session in September. At a contribution of about one million dollars, India gifted the solar panels that have been installed on the roof of the UN Headquarters, one panel each for every 193 UN Member State.
The solar panels are powered up to reach the max of 50 KW of generation power. Energy generated in the park is equivalent to energy that would have been created through use of 30,000 kilograms of coal. It also has a carbon sequestration of 1000 seedlings which will grow into trees over 10 years. The solar gift that keeps on giving!