HC Deb 02 February 1962 vol 652 cc127-9W
Mr. Longden

asked the Lord Privy Seal what estimate he has made of the financial viability of the United Nations Organisation on the basis of the payment by every member of its share of the expenses in accordance with Article 17 (2) of the Charter; and if he will name those members of the United Nations which are now two years or more in arrears in the payment of their financial contributions.

Mr. Godber

In terms of ordinary budgetary expenditure the United Nations is viable so long as the assessed

Mr. Godber

The following is the information:

contributions of members are paid within a reasonable period. The present financial difficulties of the United Nations stem mainly from the failure of certain countries to pay their contributions in respect of the special operations in the Middle East and the Congo.

By resolution of the General Assembly, the International Court of Justice has been asked to give its opinion on whether the costs of the Middle East and Congo operations are expenses of the Organisation. If the answer of the Court is affirmative, the implication will be that the failure of a member to pay its share of these costs exposes it to the penalty of loss of vote in the General Assembly as provided for in Article 19 of the United Nations Charter. The United Kingdom, as a cosponsor of the General Assembly Resolution inviting the opinion of the Court, intends submitting a written statement in support of the contention that the costs of the Middle East and Congo operations are expenses of the Organisation to which members are under an obligation to contribute.

Article 19 states that a member of the United Nations which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions to the Organisation shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two years. I understand that, at the beginning of 1962, there were a few member countries who had just become two years in arrears with their contributions to the regular budget. At the present time we understand that there are no countries in that position.