Anti-U.N. Bill to be Introduced Soon
Word on Capitol HillWe are hearing around the Hill that Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will soon introduce legislation that would likely result in a reduction in U.S. dues paid to the United Nations. The bill would cut U.S. dues that are assessed annually by the U.N. unless the U.N. consents to apportion most of its budget on a voluntary basis, where the U.S. would decide how much it wants to contribute independently. Since the U.N. is extremely unlikely to agree to these demands, the bill would essentially result in an automatic cut in U.N. dues.
The bill also requires the U.S. to oppose the expansion of existing U.N. peacekeeping missions and the creation of any new U.N. peace operations. This restriction could prevent U.N. Security Council actions to enable or enhance important missions in places like Sudan or Haiti. The legislation could also cut off funding to vital U.N. organizations, such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization, since it would suspend funding to any U.N. agency that would not sign a “transparency agreement.”
This legislation is being touted as a "reform" bill, yet withholding dues has historically been a counter-productive means of encouraging much-needed reform at the U.N. Over the past several years, without withholding U.S. dues, the U.N. has dramatically improved its oversight capabilities and the transparency of its operations. By coming to the table and participating in the U.N. by paying dues on time and in full, the U.S. can encourage further reforms.
More importantly, failing to pay U.N. dues could seriously damage the United States' reputation and influence in the international community. 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.
In testimony before the House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee a few weeks ago, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said that “failing to pay our dues to the U.N. undermines our credibility and influence-not just on reform, but on a range of U.S. national security priorities. When we choose to isolate ourselves by failing to meet our commitments and sticking others with the bill, we alienate our allies and partners.” Read more about her testimony here.
Read more about FCNL's position on supporting U.N. funding here.
Take Action: Urge your representative to oppose this bill when it is introduced.