UNITED NATIONS - Venezuela and Libya have been suspended from voting in the U.N. General Assembly for the third time in three years because of millions of dollars in unpaid dues to the world body.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres informed the General Assembly in late January that 14 countries including Venezuela and Libya were in arrears, and Assembly spokesman Brenden Varma confirmed Tuesday that Venezuela has lost its vote in the 193-member global organization as a result. Libya did as well.
According to a letter from Guterres to the Assembly president, Venezuela must pay a minimum of $25,200,296 to restore its voting rights, and Libya must pay at least $6,594,842.
Venezuela is engulfed in an economic and political crisis and Libya has two rival governments, each backed by an array of militias.
The other countries that lost their voting rights are Central African Republic, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Marshall Islands, Surinam and Yemen. Equatorial Guinea, which is on the Security Council, also lost its vote.
In a resolution, the General Assembly decided that Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia would be permitted to vote despite being in arrears.