Talking Points: U.N. funding
Oppose Anti-U.N. Measures, Support Global Engagement!
Congress Unleashes Wave of Punitive Measures Against U.N.
- Because of antiquated, anti-U.N. laws still on the books, the U.S. is now cutting funds to U.N. Bodies that admit Palestine as a member. The U.S. has already cut funds to UNESCO, the U.N. cultural agency, after its vote for Palestinian inclusion. Cuts to other U.N. agencies could follow.
- Another anti-U.N. law limits U.S. contributions for U.N. peacekeeping missions, undermining the effectiveness of U.N. missions that help restore peace and prevent new outbreaks of violence.
- If these laws are not repealed, this pattern of using U.S. engagement at the U.N. as a bargaining tool to achieve short-sighted punitive measures will likely increase, further isolating the U.S.
- To capitalize on anti-U.N. sentiment rife in Washington, Congress has unleashed a wave of initiatives to further slash U.S. funding and weaken U.S. participation in various U.N. agencies.
Urge your member of Congress to preserve U.S. contributions to the U.N. and repeal outdated laws that cap U.S. funding for U.N. peacekeeping missions and prohibit all funding for U.N. bodies that admit Palestine as a full member.
What the Outdated, Anti-U.N. Laws Say
- In 1990, Congress passed legislation (Title IV of P.L. 101-246) which prohibits funding for “any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as a member”.
- In 1994, Congress broadened this prohibition to encompass “any affiliated organization of the United Nations which grants full membership to a state to any organization or group that does not have internationally recognized attributes of statehood” (Title IV of P.L. 103-236).
- In 1994, Congress passed legislation (P.L. 103-236) that prohibits the U.S. from contributing more than 25% of the total funds for any U.N. peacekeeping operation. The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, including the U.S., pay a premium for the peacekeeping budget because of their role in creating peacekeeping missions and ability to veto any mission.
Laws Jeopardize U.S. & Global Security for Punitive Gestures
- U.S. & Global Security Threatened: The U.S. may stop paying its membership dues to a host of U.N. agencies if they should grant Palestine full membership, including the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The U.S. may even withdraw its funding from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and lose its vote on the IAEA's executive board during the next nuclear crisis.
- U.S.-U.N. Relations Jeopardized: As a world leader and founding member of the U.N., the U.S. has a responsibility to support the U.N. system as a whole in striving to meet the shared goals of advancing global peace and security, protecting human rights, eradicating poverty, and combating global challenges like climate change and nuclear proliferation.
Congress Made the Anti-U.N. Laws, Congress Can Change the Laws
- Provide Presidential Waivers: At a minimum, Congress should amend these anti-U.N. laws with presidential waivers, so that the President could waive these prohibitions on U.S. funding to U.N. agencies when it endangers U.S. national security interests.
- Repeal Anti-U.N. Laws: Unless Congress repeals these anti-U.N. laws, the U.S. will continue