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#2198: UN - US owes $1billion, Haiti and others lose vote (fwd)

From: Charles Arthur <charlesarthur@hotmail.com>

              Arthur notes: Although no mentioned in the article             
   below, Haiti is one of the countries that has lost its               

              BBC News - Wednesday, 2 February, 2000, 08:06 GMT

UN voting rights lost over debts

              The United Nations is owed $3.47 bn

Forty five countries, many of them in Africa, have lost their right to vote 
in the United Nations General Assembly after failing to pay their dues on 

A total of 52 out of the 188 members are in arrears, but seven of them have 
been exempted from losing their vote due to special circumstances, such as 
civil war and natural disaster. They are Bosnia, Comoros, Congo, Georgia, 
Guinea-Bissau, Nicaragua and Tajikistan.

Those countries which have lost their vote include Afghanistan, Burundi, 
Chad, Gambia, Honduras, Mali, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Ukraine.

Many of them are expected to pay through the year and so regain their vote 
before the assembly starts its session again in September.

              Owed billions

Under Article 19 of the UN Charter, any member whose arrears equal or exceed 
the contributions due for the preceding two years is deprived of its vote.

The United States, which owes the UN $1bn, just escaped losing its vote by 
making last minute payments.

UN spokesman John Mills said the UN is owed $3.47bn. Two thirds of that, or 
$2.1bn, is for peacekeeping operations. The remainder is for the UN's 
regular budget and the war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and 

Mr Mills said only 43 countries out of the 188 members paid their bill in 
full for the year 2,000 by the January 31 deadline.

Contributions are fixed to reflect the wealth of a country.

The biggest contributor to pay on time was France,with $68.85m - equivalent 
to 6.54% of the general budget.

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