World roundup: January 12 2022
Stories from Iran, Afghanistan, Cameroon, and more
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
Eight countries—Antigua and Barbuda, Guinea, Iran, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Vanuatu, and Venezuela—will be stripped of their voting rights in the United Nations General Assembly because they’ve failed to pay their UN dues, according to a letter released by UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ office on Wednesday. The UN suspends voting rights for members that are two or more years in arrears, though it does have the latitude to waive suspensions and has done so this year in the case of three countries—Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia. The suspended states can regain their voting rights if they pay enough of their tab to get below that two-year limit, as Iran did last year. Voting in the UNGA is a mostly symbolic act, but these suspensions are embarrassing and countries generally try to avoid them because of that.
The UN’s acting assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Ramesh Rajasingham, told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that his agency needs something on the order of $3.9 billion to fund relief programs in Yemen this year. Last year the UN only received 58 percent of its request and I would expect this year’s funding to be similarly deficient.