Non-payment of UN fee a disgrace: Kua

The non-payment of fees to the United Nations is a disgrace to the country, says shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Kerenga Kua.

Papua New Guinea’s voting right in the UN was suspended due to non-payment of its membership fee of US$180,000 (K571,000).

"This government has been reckless and cannot hide anymore behind the excuse of commodity prices. When the previous government was thrown out illegally, our economy was buoyant despite the Great Financial Crisis that affected world economies in 2008,” Kua said.

"Therefore if the PNG UN Mission has used up its operating costs, it also means the Government has been reckless in not funding operating costs forcing the Mission to divert funds.

"Previous and ongoing elective and non-essential expenditures like APEC, UBS loans (and its continuous refinancing) along with excessive Pacific Games infrastructure should have been avoided to cushion PNG against the downturn in world commodity prices.

"Not paying UN fees has destroyed PNG's international credibility and those responsible ought not to be holding high office and should rightly bow their heads in shame.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill earlier blamed the Department of Foreign Affairs for not paying the United Nations General Assembly’s annual fee.

O’Neill told Loop PNG in January the funding for the payment of the UN General Assembly has been sitting in a trust account for months.

“Someone in the Department of Foreign Affairs needs to explain why they did not pay,” stated O’Neill.

Charles Yapumi