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US Owes UN $795M, Brazil $75M, First 2 in GA, Peacekeeping Shorts Rwanda

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 9 -- It's an annual ritual, the UN Controller's report to member states on who much they owe and are owned. But Wednesday morning in the UN's Fifth (Budget) Committee, Controller Yukio Takasu flashed a slide of the two biggest "deadbeats" in paying the UN.

  The US owes $795 million; the second slowest-payer is Brazil, at $75 million. The irony is that these were the first two speakers at the UN's General Debate in late September. (Brazil's Dilma Rousseff slammed the US for spying; Obama delivered a lecture light of Africa, click here for Inner City Press review.)

  Some wonder: should you speak first, if you pay last?

  Takasu also fleetingly disclosed the growing shortfall in or underpayment to UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to hold the position.

  At the end of 2012, states had not paid UN Peacekeeping $2.1 billion. Now? Takasu put the figure at $3.4 billion. It seems fair to ask if among the reasons might not be declining confidence in Ladsous. Certainly, the news of Ladsous' lack of responsiveness has now spread beyond the UN -- click here for an article in yesterday's New Statesman in the UK.

  Ladsous is a deadbeat, too. Given Ladsous' history in the Great Lakes region -- click here for that -- it is problematic that UN Peacekeeping owns $37 million to Rwanda, seemingly its highest per-capita debt.

  UN Peacekeeping also owns India $80 million, Ethiopia $54 million, Bangladesh $50 million and Pakistan $49 million. It's a South Asian thing - plus Abyei, the entire peacekeeping mission in which Ethiopia runs.

  After Takasu's presentation, Inner City Press asked him off-camera about a story it's working on involving stealthy Qatari funding (Inner City Press has asked if Saudi Arabia will be solicited too, a form of competition like in Syria and Egypt, and also for transparency). We'll have more on this. Watch this site.


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