Tonga pays outstanding UN fees – govt

UN General Assembly Chamber UNGASS 2016. Picture: RNZ

Tonga has now paid its United Nations debts, says the government’s chief secretary.

That comes after it was revealed that Tonga was one of seven nations to be denied voting rights at the General Assembly because it hadn’t paid its annual fees.

The seven were Tonga, Venezuela, Lebanon, Lesotho, Gambia, Central Africa Republic and Yemen.

However, Tonga’s chief secretary Edgar Cocker said the government had now paid the money.

He said it had failed to make the payment due to a mix-up.

The UN Charter states a member of UN which is in arrears shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of contributions due from it for the preceding two years.

Only 146 Member States paid their dues in full for the 2019 budget.

Most of the countries owing money to the UN had remained within the overdue limits and retained their votes.

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