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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EU Offers Plan for UN Debt

UNITED NATIONS -- The European Union has proposed a sweeping new United Nations payment plan that would reduce costs for the United States, raise them for Japan and consider penalties for deadbeats.

As the UN teeters on the edge of bankruptcy with $2.3 billion in debts, the new British-drafted proposals aimed at more equitable assessments in hopes Washington would pay its $1.2 billion arrears.

Should members, such as the United States, still fail to honor their debts, the EU suggests penalties such as stopping UN contracts with suppliers from countries in arrears and limiting the recruitment of citizens from those states, especially at the senior levels.

Others could include charging interest on unpaid dues or suspending voting rights after a member accumulates two years of debts instead of three, as is the current practice.

Under the EU plan, the United States is still assessed for 25 percent of the regular budget, the maximum anyone can pay. But the U.S. share of peacekeeping costs would be cut from 31 percent to 28 percent, a figure closer to the 25 percent the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress unilaterally decided Washington should pay.

The proposals stemmed, in part, from anger at the mounting U.S. debts, which means Europe, Japan and Canada carry more than their share, such as paying for their own peacekeepers.