AP NEWS

7 countries lose vote in UN General Assembly over arrears

January 11, 2020 GMT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations says seven countries are so far behind in paying their dues that they are losing their voting privileges in the 193-member General Assembly, including Venezuela and Lebanon.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Friday that three other countries — Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia — are also in arrears by the assembly decided in October that they can retain their vote until September.

He said the other countries that are losing their vote are Central African Republic, Gambia, Lesotho, Tonga and Yemen.

An estimated 4.5 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015, escaping hyperinflation, failing services, a lack of security and political division in a country that was once among the richest in Latin America because of its vast oil reserves.

Lebanon is grappling with its worst economic and financial crisis in decades and has seen increased electricity cuts. Protesters took to the streets in October over proposed new taxes but are now calling for an end to the rule of the political elite that has run the country since the 1975-90 civil war ended.