The U.N. chief accepted the 1988 Nobel Peace Prize check Friday on behalf of U.N. peacekeeping forces, but he said they are threatened because the United States and other countries won't pay their dues.

"I don't know how we're going to cope financially," Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar said before receiving the prize money of $416,000 - a fraction of the $450 million in dues owed by U.N. members."In some ways it's embarrassing because it forces me to say publicly that the United States still owes the United Nations almost $350 million," said the U.N. chief.

"Yesterday I had a meeting with American congressmen who complimented me on the peacekeeping forces," he said. "I didn't want to make a joke, but I told them I thought it would be kind of a posthumous homage to the United Nations. . . . We won't have enough funds, because you are not paying your contribution."