By Omar Bah
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saikou Ceesay has said the Gambia Government will this week settle its contributions to the United Nations.
“A request has been done some time ago by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Finance. The payment process is still ongoing. I am sure by this week the money will get to the accounts of the UN,” he told The Standard via telephone yesterday.
“This is not about Gambia alone, even big countries do default in paying their contributions. What is important is that the government is working on to settle the amount, everything. We take our voting rights in the UN very seriously because it will not tell very well about The Gambia if it loses its voting rights. So, when you are looking at the AU, they owe The Gambia an amount of about $200, 000 and Ecowas also owes us lot of money,” Ceesay said.
The UN 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 The Gambia, Central African Republic, Lesotho, Tonga and Yemen are other countries that are losing their vote.
Dujarric said three other countries — Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia — are also in arrears but the assembly decided in October that they can retain their vote until September.
The West African country has been grappling with economic and financial crisis since ending decades of dictatorship.