Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu lose UN vote

Venezuela, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu are among six nations who have lost the right to vote at the United Nations General Assembly for not paying their compulsory annual contributions.

Papua New Guinea needs to pay the UN at least 139,000 dollars to regain voting rights, while the impoverished Pacific island state of Vanuatu owes 19,000 dollars, according to a UN document.

Venezuela also lost its right to vote for the second time in three years, after racking up 24 million dollars in unpaid bills.

The voting bans were first reported by Australian broadcaster ABC on Friday.

Other countries losing their voting rights for non-payment include Libya and Sudan, as well as Cape Verde, the UN said.

Each UN member state is required to contribute a certain amount of money to remain a voting member. A committee calculates the basis for contribution using estimates like gross national product, external debt and per capita incomes.

According to the UN charter, a member state can lose its voting rights if it fails to pay “an amount that equals or exceeds the contributions due for two preceding years,” unless the country can show the conditions for its inability to pay are beyond its control.

NAN/Nnenna.O