Saturday June 5, 2021
Mogadishu (HOL) - Somalia and two other African nations still vote in the current UN session despite being in arrears in their contributions to the UN operating budget.
In a letter dated May 28 to General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the five nations had fallen behind on their payments. Still, only two - Iran and the Central African Republic - will lose their voting rights in the 193 member General Assembly.Guterres said that Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia would retain their voting privileges for this current session which ends in September after the assembly passed a resolution.
However, Guterres noted that General Assembly could restore their voting privileges if it can prove that the circumstances were "due to conditions beyond the control" of the member state.
The U.N. Charter stipulates that members whose arrears equal or exceed the amount of their contributions for the preceding two full years risk losing their voting rights.
Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, lambasted the UN for its decision to suspend its voting rights, saying the move was "fundamentally flawed, entirely unacceptable and completely unjustified."
Tehran argues that the crippling US sanctions in line with former President Donald Trump's "maximum pressure" policy directly affected Iran's ability to pay the $16,251,298 that it owes.
Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
According to the secretary-general's letter, Somalia needs to pay a minimum of $1,443,640 to avoid a possible suspension of its voting rights in the future. In contrast, Comoros needs to pay $871,632, and Sao Tome Principe owes the world body $829,888.