UN General Assembly in session

The United Nations has identified Dominica among several countries that are in arrears of their dues and are, therefore, banned from voting in the General Assembly.

The other countries in this category are the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Suriname, Venezuela and Yemen.

“Member states who are in arrears of an amount that equals or exceeds a contribution due for two years can lose their vote in the General Assembly,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, referring to the UN Charter’s Article 19.

According to Dujarric, an “exception is allowed if the Member State can show that conditions beyond its control contributed to this inability to pay.”

There has been no word from the Government of Dominica on the matter however the island paid a heavy price when it was struck by Hurricane Maria in September 2017. The recovery effort will cost $1.37 billion, equal to 226 percent of Dominica’s 2016 GDP.

Based on the nonpayment of dues, Dominica does not have a vote in the current 72nd session of the General Assembly.

The government of Suriname has said the country owed the UN US$800,000.

The government said it would accept a payment plan, beginning with a US$117,000 deposit in the coming days, so its voting rights can be restored.

“Suriname is well aware of the importance of its membership at the United Nations and the opportunities that this specialised organisations can offer in the areas of technical assistance and development cooperation,” Suriname’s Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement.