Global Policy Forum

Only 22 Countries Are Paid-in-Full-Members of the UN


October 21, 2009

Just 22 countries out of 192 -- 11.4 percent -- are paid-in-full members of the United Nations, a U.N. official said on Wednesday.

Those nations have paid all of what they owed for the world body's 2008/09 core budget, peacekeeping, international tribunals and renovations to U.N. headquarters in New York, said Angela Kane, U.N. under secretary-general for management.

They are Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Canada, Congo, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Niger, the Philippines, Singapore, Italy, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and Tajikistan. The rest including the United States -- the top contributor to the United Nations -- have yet to pay all their dues, Kane said.

"The financial health of the organization depends on member states including the major contributors meeting their financial obligations in full and on time," she said. She said U.N. members still owed a total of $3.1 billion for 2008/09 -- $2.1 billion for peacekeeping, $828 million for the core budget, $63 million for the international tribunals and $86 million for renovations to U.N. headquarters.

There are 123 countries that have cleared their bills for the U.N. core budget and 119 that have paid for the U.N. renovations. Only 84 have paid for U.N. international tribunals.

While Kane did not say how many countries had settled their peacekeeping bill, she said the outstanding debt of $2.1 billion is $813 million lower than what was owed a year ago. "The bottom line is really while unpaid (bills) have decreased for peacekeeping ... the number of members states meeting their obligations in full across all categories is lower than one year ago, which is not so good," Kane said.

The United States has said it was ready to pay the more than $2 billion in new and old contributions it owes the United Nations for peacekeeping operations. Washington is responsible for roughly a quarter of the peacekeeping budget, which approaches $8 billion and pays for more than 110,000 soldiers and police in 15 mission worldwide.

The U.N. 2008/09 core budget is more than $4.86 billion and by some estimates only accounts for 20 percent to 25 percent of total U.N. spending. The proposed core budget for 2010/11 is $4.88 billion.


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