Monday, January 18, 2021

UN Chief Says 10 Member States Lost Right To Vote In General Assembly Over Arrears - UrduPoint

10 Member States Lost Right To Vote In General Assembly

Ten countries, including Iran and Libya, have lost their voting rights in the UN General Assembly in accordance with the UN Charter's Article 19, as they are in arrears on paying their dues to the organization's operating budget, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday in a letter to General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir.

Under the article, a member state in arrears in the payment of its dues in an amount that equals or exceeds the contributions of two preceding years can lose its vote in the General Assembly. However, the UN body is entitled to decide whether the failure to pay is caused by conditions beyond the control of a member state. If so, the country can continue to vote in the UN body.

According to the letter, the list of countries that lost their voting rights, if the General Assembly does not decide otherwise, also includes the Central African Republic, Congo, Niger, South Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

The UN chief also noted that to reduce the debt, 10 countries need to make certain minimum payments. In particular, Iran must pay more than $16 million, Libya more than $705,000, Somalia over $1.4 million.

Earlier in the day, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that Tehran had always paid UN membership contributions, despite US sanctions, using available financial channels. This year, according to the diplomat, the United States blocked these channels, and Tehran already began negotiations with the UN to resolve this issue. One of the proposals of the Iranian side suggesting that Iran can pay off the debt at the expense of Iranian assets frozen in South Korea is currently being discussed with the UN Secretariat, the diplomat added.

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