25 Jan 2016

Marshall Islands and Vanuatu deprived of UN vote

3:19 pm on 25 January 2016

The Marshall Islands and Vanuatu are among eight countries which won't be able to vote at the United Nations General Assembly because they haven't paid their membership fees.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon presented a list of non-paying countries to the UN in a letter last week.

The letter states Marshall Islands has a minimum of US$47,132 to pay and Vanuatu has US$16,528.

14 countries are in arrears but five of them are allowed to vote until the end of the current session because the UN is satisfied their failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the countries' control.

Those countries include Somalia and Yemen.

Venezuela which is set to take on the presidency of the UN Security Council is also on the list of non-payers.

It owes nearly US$3 million.

According to Associated Press, Mr Ban's letter initially also featured Iran which until very recently has been under UN sanctions over its nuclear programme.

However, AP quotes a spokesman saying Iran has been excluded from the list since it "just paid", restoring its ability to vote.

Other countries deprived of their vote are Bahrain, Burundi, Dominican Republic, Libya, Mali, and Saint Vincent and Grenadines.

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