NEW YORK - South Sudan, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon have lost their voting rights at the United Nations for non-payment of dues.
The three countries are part of six nations facing such a punitive measure for owing arrears in dues to the United Nations’ operating budget.
The other countries are Dominica, Venezuela and Lebanon, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
These countries can’t participate in votes in the 193-member General Assembly, the U.N. chief said in a letter circulated last week.
Gabon is serving a two-year term on the Security Council though its voting rights there are not affected.
The General Assembly however decided Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia who are also owing keep their voting rights. They have been granted an exemption.
According to the secretary-general’s letter, the minimum payments needed to restore voting rights are $76,244,991 for Venezuela, $1,835,303 for Lebanon, $619,103 for Equatorial Guinea, $196,130 for South Sudan, $61,686 for Gabon, and $20,580 for Dominica.
The U.N. 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.