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|Wednesday, August 22, 2001, updated at 14:27(GMT+8)|
US Debt to UN Reaches Record HighThe debt owed by the United States to the United Nations has reached a record high of 2.33 billion U.S. dollars as of July 31, a UN spokesman said Tuesday.
Spokesman Fred Eckhard told a briefing that "the United States, the biggest debtor, now owes more than 2.33 billion dollars, including more than 462 million for the regular budget and more than 1.8 billion for peacekeeping debt."
Member states owe the United Nations a total of 4.295 billion dollars in unpaid contributions, four-fifths of it to the peacekeeping account, according to the spokesman.
Last week, the U.N. said its cash flow was "extremely precarious," and it would be forced to cross-borrow from the peacekeeping account to pay staff salaries this month.
Leaders of the Republican Party in the U.S. congress have threatened to hold up payment of 582 million dollars in arrears, which they agreed in last December to deliver to the U.N. by the end of this year, seeking to attach the funds to a bill that bars American cooperation with a new International Criminal Court.
The 189-member U.N. General Assembly agreed last December to cut the U.S. share of the annual U.N. administrative budget to 22 percent from 25 percent and its share of the peacekeeping budget to 25 percent from 31 percent in several years.
In return, Washington, under a deal arranged by former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Richard Holbrooke, was to keep up its payments and release the 582 million dollars in arrears.
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