Somalia loses UN voting rights over unpaid dues
THE UNITED NATIONS – The Federal Republic of Somalia has lost the right to vote in the United Nations due to unpaid dues, a development that automatically affects its candidacy plans for non-permanent members of the world body.
In a statement released by the UN, Somalia was one of eleven countries whose vote will be immediately inconsequential due to unpaid arrears. Each country receives a certain amount for a contribution to the UN budget.
The United Nations has 193 members worldwide whose membership is defined by dues. The Horn of Africa nation, which is largely dependent on foreign aid, has yet to release millions of dollars according to the circular issued by the UN chief.
Other countries in Africa subject to the same suspension include Sudan, Comoros, Sao Tome, Principe, Congo and Guinea. Others include the socialist republic of Venezuela, Iran, Papua New Guinea, Antigua and Barbuda as well as Vanuatu.
The Charter of the United Nations stipulates that members whose arrears equal or exceed the number of their contributions for the previous two full years lose their right to vote. But it also gives the General Assembly the power to decide “that the default is due to conditions beyond the control of the member”, and in that case a country can continue to vote.
Earlier this week, Somalia’s outgoing president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, said the country would run for a non-permanent member of the UN, a seat currently held by the Republic of Kenya. Kenya won the seat in 2020.
During the campaigns, Somalia supported the republic of Djibouti, causing further discord with neighboring Kenya. The Horn of Africa nation faces a series of internal challenges, chief among them threats from Al-Shabaab.
The General Assembly decided that three African countries on the list of overdue countries – Comoros, Sao Tome, Principe and Somalia – could retain their voting rights, if payment was made on time.
According to the Secretary General’s letter, the minimum payments needed to restore the right to vote are $18,412,438 for Iran, $39,850,761 for Venezuela and $299,044 for Sudan. The other five countries each need less than $75,000 to restore their right to vote.
Currently, Somalia is also struggling to organize elections, with the United Nations and the United States among the main international partners pushing for the implementation of an agreement signed earlier this week in the capital, Mogadishu.
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