Brazil Risks Losing UN Voting Right Over a $113 Million Debt

Brazil once again risks losing its vote at the United Nations if it doesn’t pay a portion of what it owes to the global organization, which is facing a growing cash crunch as the Covid-19 crisis puts pressure on budgets worldwide.

Brazil needs to make a minimum payment of $113 million toward its total debt of $391 million by the end of the month in order to keep its vote in the General Assembly, UN Assistant Secretary-General Chandramouli Ramanathan wrote in a letter to Brazil’s UN mission seen by Bloomberg News.

Brazil’s economy ministry said in a statement that a bill approving new payments to the UN and other international organizations will soon be voted on in Congress.

The UN is under financial strain due to late payments from several countries, including the U.S., but no major G-20 economy has found itself at risk of losing its vote so often. Brazil averted a similar scenario last year by paying at the last minute.

According to UN rules, a country with total arrears equal to or greater than its total owed contributions for the last two full years can lose its General Assembly vote unless it can claim an exception, as some smaller countries have done.

“On behalf of the Secretary-General, I should like to appeal, through you, to your Government for prompt remittance of the above amounts,” Ramanathan wrote to Brazil’s UN ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho. “In particular, I would note that 135 Member States have so far paid their contributions to the regular budget of the United Nations in full for 2020 and all previous years.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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