Washington, D.C. (Feb. 23, 2009) — Statement by Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, regarding 2009 Omnibus Funding for United Nations Peacekeeping: “After nearly six months of operating on a Continuing Resolution allowing for flat-lined funding to keep government services functioning, I am deeply concerned with the final appropriation of $1.517 billion for United Nations peacekeeping activities. This figure will leave the U.S. a staggering $669 million short in meeting our assessed peacekeeping needs for FY 2009.

It is imperative that the Administration and Congress work together to make up this funding gap in the FY09 Supplemental Appropriation bill. President Obama has rightly made restoring multilateral diplomacy central to his foreign policy platform of reengaging with the world, but the U.S. is on track to owe more than $1.5 billion in debt at the United Nations. President’s ambitious agenda at the UN will be far more difficult if the U.S. is unable to meet its fair share for promoting and protecting international security. The U.S. supported the creation of all of these peacekeeping missions, and we must now pay the bill.”

About the Better World Campaign

The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the UN to promote core American interests and build a more secure, prosperous, and healthy world. The Better World Campaign engages policymakers, the media, and the American public alike to increase awareness of the critical role played by the UN in world affairs and the importance of constructive U.S.-UN relations.

About the United Nations Foundation

The UN Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas, and capital to help the United Nations solve global problems. We build partnerships, grow constituencies, mobilize resources and advocate policy changes to support the UN’s work for individual and global progress.  The UN Foundation’s work – focused on select global problems – is decreasing child mortality, improving disaster relief, protecting diverse cultures and environments, creating a clean energy future, empowering women and girls, and improving U.S.-UN relations.  For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.

###

Media Contact: