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a568: Haiti's UN vote (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

                Afghanistan, 19 others lose U.N. vote over dues

     UNITED NATIONS, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Twenty countries, including
Afghanistan, were barred on Thursday from voting in the U.N. General
Assembly this year because they have fallen too far behind in their dues.
     The new Afghan interim government, installed just last month after
more than 20 years of internecine war, is virtually broke and counting on
international aid to keep it afloat while it tries to rebuild.
     It owes the United Nations $4,600 in regular budget and peacekeeping
     The General Assembly is the United Nations' main deliberative body,
composed of representatives of all 189 U.N. member-nations. Each member
normally has one vote.
     Most of the countries too far in arrears to vote are in Africa,
including Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Niger,
Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles and Somalia.
     Others include Iraq in the Middle East, the Caribbean nations of
Dominica and Haiti, Central Asian countries Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu in the South Pacific.
     Iraq, which owes $12.4 million, has not paid because of the stringent
U.N. sanctions imposed on it in 1990 over its invasion of neighboring
     Another four countries -- Burundi and Comoros in Africa and Georgia
and Moldova in Eastern Europe -- were allowed to keep voting despite big
unpaid dues bills, on grounds their failure to pay was due to conditions
beyond their control.