Take Action: House Bill Threatens U.N. Funding
Take Action: House Bill Threatens U.N. Funding and Middle East Peace
The U.S. House of Representatives could vote as soon as this week on legislation that would cripple the United Nations, inflame conflict in the Middle East and drastically cut life-saving assistance to Palestinians. Please contact your representative TODAY to urge a vote against this legislation on the House floor.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is planning to move legislation this week--timed to coincide with the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition at the U.N.--that would have far-reaching negative consequences for the U.N. It would:
- Halve U.S. contributions to the United Nations unless the U.N. agrees to allow member states to contribute on a voluntary basis. Since the U.N. is unlikely to meet these demands, the bill would result in an automatic cut in U.N. dues.
- Require the U.S. to oppose the expansion of existing U.N. peacekeeping missions. This would make it far more difficult for the U.N. to deploy missions that help restore peace and prevent new outbreaks of violent conflict.
- Punish Palestinians for their bid for statehood recognition at the U.N. This bill would effectively eliminate funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, which provides life-saving humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees and slash funds to any U.N. program that recognizes an upgrade to the status of the Palestinian mission at the U.N.
This so-called U.N. reform bill would unjustly punish Palestinians and the entire U.N. system, drastically undercutting progress toward reform at the U.N. and prospects for Middle East peace. Despite its flaws, the United Nations remains the only place where all countries of the world can come together to seek solutions to shared global problems.
As a world leader, the United States has a responsibility to engage more fully with and support the U.N. and other international organizations dedicated to promoting peace and security.
P.S.--If you're interested, please also see FCNL’s letter to Congress opposing this bill and our joint statement with the American Friends Service Committee and the Quaker United Nations Office in New York on the Palestinian U.N. Bid.