UN says Lebanon made payment to restore UN voting rights

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The United Nations said Monday that Lebanon has paid its UN dues, restoring its voting rights in the General Assembly.

The UN had announced on Friday that seven countries - including Venezuela and Lebanon - were so far behind in paying their dues that they were losing their voting privileges in the 193-member world body.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN controller reported on Monday that Lebanon has just made a payment and “Lebanon’s voting rights have been fully restored.”

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.

Dujarric said: “We fully recognize that the recent events in Lebanon have challenged the banking system, delaying part of this money.”

Lebanon’s payment leaves Venezuela, Central African Republic, Gambia, Lesotho, Tonga and Yemen without voting rights.

Three other countries - Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia - are also in arrears but the General Assembly decided in October that they can retain their vote until September.

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