Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the decision by the States legislature to release over half a billion dollars for back dues owed by Washington to the United Nations.
A spokesman for the Secretary-General said in a statement that Mr. Annan was "pleased by the decision of the United States Congress to authorize payment of $582 million dollars, in partial settlement of the dues owed to the United Nations."
Mr. Annan also paid tribute to philanthropist Ted Turner, who contributed over $31 million of his own money to the United States to help resolve the arrears problem. "[Mr. Annan] wishes to thank Mr. Ted Turner for his remarkable role in facilitating this payment, and salutes him for his visionary leadership as a true global citizen," the spokesman said.
Looking to the future, the Secretary-General expressed hope that "all outstanding financial issues between the United States and the United Nations can be resolved as soon as possible, in order to put this issue behind us once and for all."