America's $1.7 Billion Debt to the UN
From Where the UN Stands
According to the United Nations, the United States owes them $1.7 billion in unpaid dues and must pay $550 million of that amount by the end of 1999 or lose its vote in the UN General Assembly.
The U.S. is far from the only debtor UN nation. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told the U.N. budget committee that without $2.15 billion in total unpaid dues by member states, "We cannot rationally manage the United Nations."
Secretary-General Annan points out that the United Nations had allotted $900 million for peacekeeping in 1999, but it had to reduce that amount to $650 million due to the shortfall in back dues.
From Where the US Congress Stands
There are currently three bills before the US Congress addressing the UN debt, each in very different ways:
Pay Them (Some of It)
About the UN General Assembly
As the decision making body of the UN, the General Assembly is composed of representatives of all 188 Member States (nations). Each Member has one vote. Decisions on peacekeeping and security, admission of new Member nations, and budgetary matters require a two-thirds majority vote. Decisions on other matters may be reached by simple majority vote or without a vote.
Decisions of the UN General Assembly have no legally binding force on any world government, but carry the weight of the opinion of the world community.
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