≡ Menu

So contrary to popular belief, it seems we actually do pay our bills

Interesting little news item on p. 14 of Fréttablaðið today.

It seems that, of 192 countries that make up the United Nations, only 22 have paid their required contributions and dues for this year. That’s 11.4%.

Iceland is one of those 22 nations.

According to the paper, the 22 nations that are NOT in arrears are: Azerbaijan, Austria, Australia, The Philippines, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Canada, Congo, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Nigeria, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan and Germany.

Two countries rather conspicuous by their absence on that list are the United States and United Kingdom.

Among other things, those contributions go towards peacekeeping, basic operations of the UN, financing international tribunals and maintenance of UN headquarters.

FIRST DAY OF WINTER TODAY
According to the old Icelandic calendar. Snow would therefore have been appropriate, but instead we got cool-ish weather with some wind and the occasional blue skies. Right now it’s 2°C [36F]. The sun came up at 8.44 and set at 5.37.

Comments

comments

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • paulstpancras October 24, 2009, 11:52 pm

    Too right Alda, you have the UK and USA bang to rights. The baby boomer anglo-saxons are the most cheapskate generations ever to have lived since a Neanderathal said to his fellows, “Trust me. I know what I’m doing. My name is Tony Blair and these are some homosapiens I’d like you to meet.”

    One day, Alda, I hope a more honourable generation of Dutch and British people will repay what they owe Icelanders.

    Mellow 10 degrees. Spring forward and fall back clocks change tonight.

  • John Hopkins October 25, 2009, 2:58 am

    The US does pay, but it uses the fact that it pays a huge percentage of the total to manipulate the organization…

    and a factoid — Finland was the only European country that paid back the Marshall Funds from the US for rebuilding after WWII. The Finns don’t like a monkey on their back 😉

  • Bromley86 October 25, 2009, 9:02 am

    Two countries rather conspicuous by their absence on that list are the United States and United Kingdom.

    Absent, but hardly conspicuous though.

  • James October 25, 2009, 11:20 am

    A week ago, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Management Angela Kane said that 120 member states (not just 22) had paid their regular budget contributions in full and 93 percent of the unpaid amount was owed by the United States. Also, remember that the United Kingdom is currently being micro-managed by Gordon Brown so, unless he’s personally seen the UN’s final invoice for assessed contributions and posted the cheque himself, I doubt it’ll get paid. And, even then, our Royal Mail is currently on strike…

  • James October 25, 2009, 11:33 am

    “a Neanderathal said to his fellows, “Trust me. I know what I’m doing. My name is Tony Blair and these are some homosapiens I’d like you to meet.””

    Please show a little respect for your future president:
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2694123/Sarkozy-demands-summit-to-crown-Blair-EU-President.html

    “and a factoid — Finland was the only European country that paid back the Marshall Funds from the US for rebuilding after WWII”

    Actually, the UK repaid all of its Marshall Plan loans, with the final payment made just 3 years ago:
    http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/faculty/harrison/comment/lendlease070110.pdf

  • Sigvaldi Eggertsson October 25, 2009, 1:50 pm

    To John Hopkins, Finland was not a repicient of Marshall plan aid after the WW2, they were, however, the only country that repaid in full their debts to the USA after the first world war.

  • Thom October 25, 2009, 4:43 pm

    paulstpancras-

    Well 5 of the countries on that list have significant numbers of English speakers, I dunno if your theory is 100%.

  • Bromley86 October 25, 2009, 7:19 pm

    Excellent article on the WWI (and even Napoleonic!) debt:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4757181.stm

  • D_Boone October 25, 2009, 10:22 pm

    Well Bromley86’s reference certainly clears up how fast Iceland should repay the IceSave loan ….. The Brits are certainly in no position to grizzle if “economic conditions” force delays in repayments. The colour of pots and kettles springs to mind.

  • Bromley86 October 26, 2009, 12:32 am

    >The colour of pots and kettles springs to mind.

    You mean someone owes Iceland 8bn euros? Still, joking aside, you’ll note that the position of the UK is that the debt still exists, which is very different from the position of the Icesave agreement passed by the Althingi a while back.

  • John Hopkins October 26, 2009, 4:46 am

    Hei Sigvaldi — I stand corrected — I think I mis-understood what I Finn once told me (or they mispoke), and I took it at face value. I recall the great pride in the speaking, though, as though it was only Finland who honored it’s debts.

  • Eliza October 26, 2009, 10:04 am

    if the Landsbanki Resolution Committee manages to get hold of the Landsbanki subsidiary in Luxembourg, they will be able to pay back 100% of the Icesave debt. So all that will be left to pay is some interests (5,5% though, not 2%).
    I wonder why Icelanders don’t blame Luxembourgers for confiscating Landsbanki assets. Maybe it is because they didn’t use anti-terrorist legislation. Or maybe because Iceland and Luxembourg share something in common, being tiny with an oversized banking sector.

  • PeterRRRRRR October 26, 2009, 10:06 am

    Easy to bash the US on not paying their dues, but please remember that we are being asked to pay 25% of the core UN budget, much more than any other country. And we only get one vote.

    Maybe if all the UN diplomats would pay their friggin’ New York City parking tickets, we would be more inclined to pay 🙂

  • Sigvaldi Eggertsson October 26, 2009, 1:42 pm

    To John Hopkins, the USA was so impressed by the Finns that when Finland took part in the German-led attack against the USSR in the WWII and the UK and the dominions declared war upon Finland, the US did not follow their lead, despite being urged by the Soviets to do so.