Fifty-two countries including somalia are so far in arrears on their
U.N. budget and peacekeeping payments that most have lost their
vote in the 188-member General Assembly, a U.N. spokesman said Tuesday.
has exempted seven of these countries from the no-vote rule due
to special circumstances, such as civil war and other disasters.
They include Bosnia, Comoros, Tajikistan, Congo Republic, Guinea-Bissau,
Nicaragua and Georgia.
The 52 nations,
the highest number in years, fell victim to Article 19 of the U.N.
Charter, which says that any member whose arrears equal or exceed
the contributions due for the preceding two full years is deprived
of its Assembly vote.
of them are expected to pay enough of their arrears to keep their
vote before the main General Assembly session in September or any
major meetings before then.
At the end
of 1999, only 19 countries were left on the original deadbeat list
of 42. And seven of these nations were exempt for special conditions.
Among those losing their vote was Ukraine, a new member of the 15-nation
Security Council, which owes $15 million due to a steep rise in
its assessments after the break up of the Soviet Union, which it
has protested unsuccessfully.
The United States
just escaped being classified in this category, which usually includes
the world's poorest countries, by paying just enough of its huge
arrears to keep its vote. Washington now owes the United Nations
about $1.2 billion. Iraq, which owes $11 million, has not paid because
of the stringent U.N. trade sanctions imposed in mid-1990.
has not paid in seven years, having been suspended from the General
Assembly during the Balkan war and until its status was settled
following the breakup of the former Socialist Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia. U.N. spokesman John Mills said that only 43 countries
lived up to their U.N. Charter obligation to meet a Jan. 31 deadline
for full payment of their U.N. regular budget dues for the year
But that was
11 more countries than paid up by the deadline in 1999 and the highest
in recent years. Many more nations are expected to pay in the next
few weeks and months but numbers of countries which paid up belie
the actual state of U.N. finances.
About 15 nations
account for 85 percent of the U.N. budget, with the United States
billed for 25 percent and Japan for nearly 20 percent, followed
by Germany, France, Italy and Britain. Among the group of 15 only
France, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Russia and Sweden have
paid in full. Member states, including many who have just paid enough
to keep their vote, owe a total of about $3.47 billion for the regular
budget and peacekeeping.
The 45 countries
that lost their votes were: Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize,
Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad,
Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Grenada,
Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan,
Latvia, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania,
Moldova, Mongolia, Niger, North Korea, Rwanda, St Lucia, St Vincent
and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia,
Sudan, Togo, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Yemen and