Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government has set up an inter-ministerial committee to review Uganda’s membership to International Organizations across all government entities. The decision comes at a backdrop of reports that Uganda had failed to pay a total of organizations 63 billion Shillings in subscription to different international organizations as at financial year 2014/2015.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ambassador Patrick Mugoya, up to 28.4 billion shillings is needed annually, to finance Uganda’s contributions to the organizations. However, the ministry gets an annual allocation of 9.1 billion shillings which covers only 32 percent of the required amount.
According to Mugoya, the allocation continues to create additional arrears. He said that with or without money, they continue receiving demand notes from the International Organizations.
The organizations include the Commonwealth foundation, Commonwealth fund for Technical coop, Commonwealth secretariat, Commonwealth youth programme, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Organisation of Islamic Countries, Sea Bed Authority, African Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat, UN Peace Keeping Operations, UN Tribunals, UN Secretariat, World Food Programme and African Union.
Mugoya today told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), that a committee has been set up to review the organizations to which the country is a member and their benefits in order to inform a position on Uganda’s membership interests. The inter-ministerial committee is spearheaded by the Finance Ministry and has representation from all ministries, plus the National Planning Authority (NPA).
PAC vice chairperson Okin P.P Ojara directed Mugoya to provide his committee with a list of organizations they subscribe to and how much is owed to each. He said that the issue of unpaid subscription fees and the sustainability of Uganda’s membership to the International Organizations must be urgently solved.
While appearing before PAC recently, Finance Ministry undersecretary Betty Kasimbazi told MPs that Uganda’s default puts its voting on critical decisions and debate powers in the different international conferences at risk since countries that do not pay subscriptions are most times not allowed to vote and debate.