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As UN Owes Over $500M to Peacekeeping Countries, Japan Owes $356M

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 11 -- When the head of the UN's Department of Management Yukio Takasu, previously Japan's Ambassador to the UN, briefed the UN's Budget Committee on Thursday morning he projected that over $500 million will still be owned at the end of this year to countries which contribute troops, police and equipment to UN Peacekeeping missions.

   Inner City Press went to Thursday's UN noon briefing and asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky for an explanation of this large debt by the UN.

  The previous Management chief came and did press briefings on such figures, naming and praising the countries which had been on-time in paying their dues to the UN and UN Peacekeeping. That still hasn't happened under her successor.

    During the Budget Committee meeting Under Secretary General Takasu, when he came to Slide 11 listing countries which are behind on dues payments for UN Peacekeeping, moved quickly over the slide without naming any country. Video here, at Minute 9:27.

  Thursday afternoon, while still waiting for an answer to its question at noon, Inner City Press went to Conference Room 3 seeking a copy of Takasu's presentations and slides, but was told that none was available.

   Further inquiry finds that on the sped-over Slide 11 Japan is listed as the country most behind in due to UN Peacekeeping, for the second year in a row, owing $356 million as of October 5, 2012.

  There may well be a UN explanation - but that's why having briefings, or at least timely answering questions, is the way to go.

   The slides also list the countries to which the UN owes most in Peacekeeping back-payments, topped by Pakistan and Bangladesh, owed $107 million each, India at $95 million, Ethiopia $56 million, Nigeria $43 million, Egypt $42 million and Rwanda, owed $39 million.

   Rwanda is poised to be elected to the UN Security Council on October 18. Perhaps by then the UN will have answered why it owes this money. Watch this site.

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