CNN — Lebanon pledged on Friday to restore payments to the UN’s operating budget after losing voting rights in the 193-nation UN General Assembly, according to Lebanese state news agency NNA.
Lebanon is one of six countries, along with Venezuela, South Sudan, Gabon, Dominica and Equatorial Guinea, that will lose voting rights for not meeting minimum contributions, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a Thursday letter. Stated.
Following the suspension, Lebanon’s foreign ministry said on Friday that payment procedures would be “immediate,” the NNA said.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration would like to clarify that all stages of payment of the required amount have been completed,” the NNA said in a statement.
“After making the necessary contacts with each of Lebanon’s Prime Minister and Finance Minister, it was confirmed that the final payment process would take place immediately, in a manner that protects Lebanon’s rights at the United Nations.”
Under Article 19 of the Charter of the United Nations, Member States with arrears equal to or more than their contributions in the last two years lose their voting rights. The General Assembly also has the power to decide “whether the failure to pay is due to circumstances beyond the member’s control”, in which case the country does not lose its voting rights.
According to the Secretary-General’s letter, the minimum payment required to restore Lebanon’s voting rights is $1,835,303.
For more than three years, Lebanon has been through “the most devastating and multi-pronged crisis in modern history,” as the World Bank explains.
In its report on Lebanon, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) described the situation in the country as “the worst economic crisis since the end of the civil war.”
The financial crisis that began in October 2019 was exacerbated by the Covid-19 outbreak and the impact of the massive Beirut port explosion in August 2020.
Lebanon’s banks have shut most depositors out of savings since the economic crisis, leaving much of the population unable to make basic payments and depositors demanding access to funds to stop banks. I am forced.
The Lebanese lira hit a new record low of 50,000 to US$1 on Thursday, currency dealers told Reuters. Since the country’s financial system collapsed in 2019, it has lost more than 95% of its value.
About 2 million people in Lebanon currently face food insecurity, including 1.29 million Lebanese residents and 700,000 Syrian refugees, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program said in a report on Thursday. “The situation will get worse in the coming months,” he said.
In the midst of the financial crisis, the political impasse prevented Congress from electing the country’s president. On Thursday, it failed 11 times in a row. Several members of parliament held a sit-in to pressure other factions to reach consensus on the vote.
“We are insisting on the need to elect a president of the republic…in response we have launched this sit-in in parliament…the need to have a president who can put an end to the collapse of the country.” Speak out!” said Najat Salihba, a member of parliament who participated in Thursday’s sit-in.
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