A completed resolution vote tally to affirm the suspension of the Russian Federation from the United Nations Human Rights Council is displayed during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday, April 7, 2022, at United Nations headquarters. [Photo: AP/John Minchillo]

South Sudan loses UN voting rights over dues

South Sudan and five other countries have lost their voting rights in the 193-member General Assembly, the United Nations Chief said in a letter circulated Thursday.

South Sudan and five other countries have lost their voting rights in the 193-member General Assembly, the United Nations Chief said in a letter circulated Thursday.

Other countries include; Venezuela, Lebanon, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. 

The six countries are in arrears on paying dues to the United Nations operating budget. 

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the minimum payments needed to restore voting rights are $76,244,991 for Venezuela, $1,835,303 for Lebanon, $619,103 for Equatorial Guinea, $61,686 for Gabon, and $20,580 for Dominica.

He said South Sudan owes the UN $196,130. 

The UN Charter states that members whose arrears equal or exceed the amount of their contributions for the preceding two full years lose their voting rights. But it also gives the General Assembly the authority to decide “that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the member,” and in that case, a country can continue to vote, according to The Associated Press.

The General Assembly decided that three African countries; Comoros, Sao Tome, and Principe, and Somalia on the list of nations in arrears, would be able to keep their voting rights. It granted the three countries the same exemption last year.