Kofi Warns Washington It Risks Losing Vote Over UN Arrears

September 21, 1999 - 0:0
UNITED NATIONS UN Chief Kofi Annan warned the United States Sunday that it risked losing its right to vote at the UN General Assembly if it did not make good on its arrears to the organization. "There is a real danger in the sense that our rules are very clear: any member state who owes more than two years' in arrears automatically loses its vote whether it's the United States, Fiji or Bangladesh," Annan told CNN. "There is no leeway about that." According to the UN, the United States owes about $1.7 billion, and must stump up $350 million by the end of the year to keep its voting privileges.

Its veto power on the Security Council, as one of its five permanent members, is not affected. "It really, really hampers our activities," Annan said, referring to the funding shortfall, adding that UN members had only delivered $21 million of the $125 million required under the preliminary budget for the Kosovo operation. "How do we run such an operation without the money, without the resources?" he asked.