NEW YORK -- Venezuela has lost its right to vote in the United Nations General Assembly because of the non-payment of its contributions, according to the organization.
The country was in the same situation last year until regained the right to vote in that body after paying part of its debt.
The UN rules establish the loss of the right to vote in the General Assembly for Member States that have outstanding payments to the organization's budget for an amount equal to or greater than the contributions that corresponded to them during the previous two years.
"Under Article 19 of the Charter, a Member State in arrears in the payment of its dues in an amount that equals or exceeds the contributions due for two preceding years can lose its vote in the General Assembly," the U.N. Committee on Contributions reported in listing Venezuela as one of 8 countries that do not have a vote in the 72nd General Assembly.
Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the United Nations, said today that, as of January 29, these eight countries were in that situation: Venezuela, the Central African Republic, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Grenada, Libya, Suriname and Yemen.
The UN rules allow exceptions for member states that face extraordinary situations or when "conditions beyond its control contributed to the inability to pay."
In this case, the General Assembly determined last October that Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia may vote during the current session despite not having paid the amounts corresponding to the organization's budget.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres wrote in a letter to the General Assembly President that Venezuela must pay a minimum of $25,200,296 to restore their voting rights.
"Venezuela's predicament is mainly its own fault," says Russ Dallen, who follows Venezuela's economic situation at Caracas Capital and worked at the UN previously. "Rather than admit that its people are starving and that its economy is in disarray and its currency is worthless, Venezuela turned in figures that its GDP was skyrocketing, so that the UN concluded that Venezuela had 'higher growth in GDP relative to the world' and increased Venezuela's portion of UN expenses to 0.854% from its previous 0.571% of the U.N. budget."
UN Resolution on Arrears - 10 October 2017 by Latin American Herald Tribune on Scribd