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Jillian C. York;

Libya loses voting rights at UN General Assembly over non-payment of UN dues

Libya has had its voting rights UN General Assembly (UNGA) suspended because it has not paid its membership dues, it has been revealed.

Under Article 19 of the UN Charter, member states lose their right to vote in UNGA “if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full years”.

In a letter to the UNGA a fortnight ago, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that to have the ban lifted, Libya would have to pay a minimum of $1,369,638 towards reducing its debt.

Libya was one of 15 countries in the letter to be named as facing a possible ban because of non-payment. Nine, including Bahrain, Iran and Venzuela, have since paid up while five others, including Somalia and Yemen, have been permitted to retain their voting rights because of their particular circumstances.

Article 19 allows this, stating that a member can be allowed to vote if the UNGA “is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the Member”.

The UN has apparently decided that Libya is able to pay its dues. As a result it is the only state whose voting rights are being suspended.

The decision does not affect Libya’s voting rights on other UN bodies.

It will, moreover, not have any effect before the next General Assembly in September – by which time Libya may well have aid its arrears.

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