UN suspends Kyrgyzstan from voting

>>Kyrgyzstan has not paid membership fees for two years>>

JAN. 28 (The Conway Bulletin) — The United Nations has suspended Kyrgyzstan’s right to vote at meetings because it has not paid its membership fees for two years.

Also included on the list of nonpayers, published on January 15, were Grenada, the Marshall Islands, Rwanda, Macedonia, Tonga, Vanuatu and Yemen. An updated note a few days later said that Rwanda and Yemen had been re-instated as voting members after their bills had been paid off.

The UN’s rules state that if a country is two years behind its membership payment, it loses its voting rights. Kyrgyzstan hasn’t made a statement regarding the UN suspension of its voting rights.

The actual amount that Kyrgyzstan owed the UN was small, just $6,731, but that’s not really the point. For Kyrgyzstan, the non-payment of its membership fees to the UN is an embarrassment, whether or not the amount is large or small and whether it has been missed through a clerical error or not.

If its wants to be taken seriously as a place for foreign investment and engagement, Kyrgyzstan simply can’t afford to be highlighted on this list of countries in arrears. It needs to get the basics right.

For Kyrgyzstan, the embarrassment is even more acute as only a few of years ago it was applying to take on one of the rotating chairs of the UN Security Council.

In 2011, Kyrgyzstan didn’t win enough support to take on the Arab-Asia position at the UN Security Council. Now it’s lost its voting rights altogether, at least temporarily, because of an unpaid bill of $6,731.

>>This story was first published in issue 216 of The Conway Bulletin, the best independent weekly newspaper covering Central Asia and the South Caucasus. To subscribe and for more information, go to www.conway.starbit.co.uk

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