Sen. Leahy: Support OPCW and CTBTO Funding
SOURCE : FCNL
Support Full U.S. Funding for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Preparatory Commission and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
April 20, 2009
Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
Committee on Appropriations
127 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
RE: Funding of CTBTO and OPCW in FY 2009 Supplemental and FY 2010 Budget
Dear Senator Leahy:
We are writing you, the Chairman of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee, to ask your help in providing adequate funding in the FY 2009 supplemental appropriations bill and in the forthcoming FY 2010 appropriations bill for international organizations, specifically the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Preparatory Commission (CTBTO) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
These two important multilateral organizations, along with others, have suffered in recent years with both late and non-payments of annual assessments and voluntary contributions from the Department of State. The OPCW, with an annual budget of about $100 million (of which 20% is funded by the United States), has received its U.S. contribution only in the final month – December – of its fiscal year. The 2009 U.S. assessment of €13,911,948 (about $18,487,927) has yet to be paid to the OPCW although it was due in January. We are told that without additional funding from Congress for FY 2009, it will once again have to wait until the FY 2010 cycle for payment in December. In the case of the CTBTO, on February 26, 2009 the United States paid $20.5 million to cover all of its outstanding arrears. However, the U.S. still owes $24 million for its 2009 assessment and its 2010 assessment of approximately $24 million will soon come due. In the absence of a substantial U.S. contribution totaling $45 million to the CTBTO through the supplemental appropriation request now before Congress and/or the FY 2010 foreign operations appropriations bill, the continued build up and maintenance of the International Monitoring System and other elements of the verification regime would be adversely affected. The United States pays 22% of the CTBO’s budget, which will be $113 million in 2009.
The Obama administration has expressed its strong support for the CTBT and all aspects of the international monitoring and inspection system. On January 13 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “The Obama administration will fully support the CTBT’s International Monitoring System, which gives the United States better capability to detect and identify very low-yield tests than we would on our own.” We request that you provide for full U.S. funding for the CTBTO and OPCW in the FY 2009 supplemental appropriations bill (Contributions to International Organizations in the State Department budget) in order to put an end to this harmful and embarrassing practice of under-funding international organizations dedicated to nuclear and chemical weapons risk reduction. The U.S. delegations to these organizations will attest to the fact that this practice has undermined their influence and credibility and, in some cases, caused the U.S. to lose its voting power.
Secretary of State Clinton acknowledged this problem in her nomination hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 13th and pledged to seek sufficient funds for international organizations to pay outstanding arrears and fully fund annual assessments and contributions henceforth. Only with full annual financial and political support from the United States will these important international organizations be effective. Please let us know if we might provide any additional information for your staff regarding these issues.
Paul F. Walker, Ph.D.
Director, Security and Sustainability
Global Green USA
Arms Control Association
Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) (202) 903-2517
Council for a Livable World
(202) 543-4100 x 2222
Director of Government Affairs
Coordinator Arms Control Advocacy Collaborative