Opposition leader calls for investigation into loss of St. Lucia’s voting rights at United Nations

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Opposition leader calls for investigation into loss of St. Lucia’s voting rights at United Nations

Below is a statement from the Leader of the Opposition circulated to all media houses

Leader of the Opposition Hon. Stephenson King has referred to the explanation given by UN Ambassador, Ms. Menissa Rambally, on the circumstances surrounding Saint Lucia’s loss of its voting privileges at the United Nations, as an attempt to mislead the Saint Lucian people on the facts and an act of intellectual dishonesty.

This behavior warrants the launching of a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding Saint Lucia’s loss of its voting rights at the United Nations.

Based on information obtained from the United Nations website: http://www.un.org/en/ (search for  “ST/ADM/SER.B/727”), it is clear that the former UWP government also inherited a debt of US $69,756 which was owed to the UN’s Regular Budget by the last Dr. Kenny Anthony SLP administration. That in itself is a clear indication that there were no payments for a period leading up to December 2006.

In 2007, when Saint Lucia’s assessed annual contribution was revised at $20,008 US, an amount of $89,745 US was paid to the United Nations to cover the arrears together with the 2007 contribution; with only $19.00 US outstanding, thus averting the situation that we are in now.

Between 2007 and 2010, Saint Lucia’s outstanding contribution was only $18,290 US, which was fully paid in 2010.  The assessed contribution for 2010 also went up to $21,146 US, and again in 2012 it went to $23,631 US.

Considering the fact that Saint Lucia’s voting rights were in-tact up until 2011, it meant that Saint Lucia’s contribution then was within the conventional limits to avoid the invocation of Article 19 of the UN Charter, which deals with voting rights.

Therefore, considering the fact that the UN issues monthly notices to member countries on the status of their contributions and also publishes a half yearly report, it is quite obvious that the present SLP administration, since assuming office over a year ago, failed to pay anything or enough to avoid the present situation of Saint Lucia defaulting on its assessed contributions. It is therefore my conclusion that Ambassador Rambally clearly misled the Saint Lucian public with her statements.

The current SLP Administration is still yet to explain why the budgetary allocations for the ‘United Nations Organization’ and the ‘United Nations Regular Budget’ were reduced in the Government’s Estimates (2012/2013) from $107,888 to $91,201 and from $78,032 to $66,192 respectively.

I therefore call on Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony, to launch a full investigation into the United Nations ‘voting rights affair’ and to go further by providing full disclosure on the findings of this investigation to both the House of Assembly and the people of Saint Lucia.

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