In a letter to the UN General Assembly, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that a total of 11 countries are behind in their payments, due to which eight countries have lost their right to vote at the UN.
A member country’s right to vote is suspended when its arrears equal to or exceeds the number of dues it should have paid over the preceding two years, according to the UN charter. However, the assembly may let that country continue to vote if the outstanding debt is deemed to be “due to conditions beyond the control of the member.”
Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, Antigua and Barbuda, Congo, Guinea, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea are the eight countries that have lost their right to vote for now, Guterres said.
Meanwhile, for 2022, this may be the case of the Comoros Islands, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia, Guterres further expressed.
For Iran, the UN Secretary-General underlined that the payment due is just over $18 million. On the other hand, Sudan requires to pay nearly $300,000.
Iran had similarly lost its vote over unpaid dues in 2021. Tehran pointed towards US economic sanctions as the reason to not be able to pay even the minimum amount. Iran was granted an exemption as it was allowed to access money blocked by the US Treasury after months of negotiations. Iran re-obtained its right to vote in June in time for the election of new members of the Security Council.