Antigua pay off all UN debts

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, October 5, 2007 – Antigua and Barbuda has announced that it has cleared all its debt to the United Nations for their peacekeeping operations, international tribunals and capital master plan.

“My government inherited a UN debt in excess of US$250,000 from the previous administration for these key operations, including the UN peacekeeping operations in the CARICOM member state of Haiti, and our UN Mission has been making small but regular payments since 2004 in a sustained effort to reduce these arrears,” Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer said.

“We will no longer be included on any ‘name and shame’ list of member states who are in arrears with their assessed contributions, and I would like to thank our UN Ambassador Dr John Ashe for his efforts in this regard,” he added.

He also noted that over this period, his government had paid its outstanding membership dues to some of the other UN bodies to which Antigua and Barbuda belong, such as the Group of Latin and American States and the Group of 77 & China.

“While it is true that ‘membership has its privileges,’ it is equally true that it comes with certain obligations. We have certainly benefited from our membership in the United Nations and we realize that in order to play our part fully we must be in good financial standing in the organization,” he said

The twin island state recently also made good debts owed to INTERPOL.

“We still have some ways to go in terms of some of the treaty bodies to which we are in arrears, but my administration intends to, within its means, meet all its international obligations,” Spencer said.