UN Peacekeepers in LiberiaAs U.S. arrears to UN Peacekeeping grow, let your Members of Congress know that you are concerned about the impact on U.S. national security.

I am writing today about an issue of great importance: the United States’ nearly $1 billion in arrears to United Nations Peacekeeping. Over the years, U.S. funding for the UN’s assessed budgets has ebbed and flowed, and the U.S. has periodically accrued debt on its financial obligations to the UN system.

But at a time when the world is confronting multiple global challenges no one country can handle alone, withholding contributions is an irresponsible choice that threatens the organization and undermines U.S. national interests. Specifically, this debt:

Negatively effects troop-contributing countries. Countries that participate in peacekeeping missions are not being fully reimbursed for their contributions of personnel and equipment, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

• Threatens to erode U.S. influence at the UN and cede the floor to countries that have a different vision of what UN Peacekeeping should be. For example, China has significantly increased its contributions to UN Peacekeeping. While China’s influence grows, U.S. arrears diminish the U.S. ability to lead the decision-making process, and shape UN peacekeeping activities based on U.S. priorities and values.

• Undermines our ability to push for critical reforms at the UN, diminishing the regional support necessary to make progress on our priorities.

While I recognize that difficult funding decisions must be made in this fiscal climate, I hope that I count on my elected officials to support UN Peacekeeping and advocate to paying on dues on time and in full.