Membership, voting and funding
in The law of international organisations (third edition)
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This chapter explores the key relationship between the inter-governmental organisation (IGO) and its member states. It examines the basic relationship between the United Nations (UN) and states in terms of membership through admissions, withdrawal, expulsion, suspension, and representation. The chapter provides case studies, including the pursuit of Palestinian membership and the consequences of the break-up of states for membership, showing how the rules on membership are at the same time rudimentary and difficult to adhere to. It shows that membership of an IGO no longer guarantees full sovereign equality of member states, and that with qualified majority voting and weighted voting, sovereign equality becomes more and more qualified. The chapter also explores how the obligation to pay, when combined with a scale of assessments that requires powerful states to pay more, produces considerable tensions within the UN and other IGOs, sometimes in the form of a refusal to pay.

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