Washington, D.C. (May 28, 2021) – Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign, released the following statement on the Biden administration’s proposed International Affairs budget for Fiscal Year 2022:

“Today the Biden administration released a budget that took a crucial step toward addressing the overlapping crises of global health, pandemic preparedness and conflict across the world by increasing international funding in critical areas, putting the UN and multilateral partners at the center of the response.

The Biden administration confirmed its commitment to paying UN human rights and peacekeeping arrears, allotting $82.4 million for the former and a $300 million down payment for the latter to start addressing $1.1 billion in peacekeeping cap arrears that have accumulated since FY’17.

“The administration agreed to pay the balance of arrears within two years, a timely announcement as the world celebrates the annual International Day of UN Peacekeepers, honoring the more than 90,000 peacekeepers promoting peace and security around the globe.

“These actions are in America’s best interests. Paying our arrears will fortify 12 UN Peacekeeping missions critical to U.S. national security, reimburse top troop contributing countries many of whom are allies, and better position the U.S. to advocate for necessary reforms and push back against authoritarian regimes.

Additional investments include:

  • Preparing for future pandemics and biological threats: $10.1 billion for global health programs, with nearly $1 billion dedicated to end the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing research, detection and response capabilities overseas;
  • Assisting the world’s most vulnerable: Fully funding our commitments to the World Health Organization, the UN Refugee Agency, and increasing funding for the UN Population Fund. The request also provides additional funds to strengthen multilateral efforts through the Access to COVID-19 Tools – Accelerator; and
  • Catalyzing global action on climate: $2.5 billion for international climate programs to inspire action around the world.

“The Biden administration requested $63.7 billion for international affairs programs overall, an approximate 11 percent increase over the level enacted in the FY ’21 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

“This budget helps strengthen America’s leadership role at the UN and throughout the world, underlining the reality that domestic and foreign policy challenges are increasingly intertwined.

“We encourage leaders in Congress to move forward with this International Affairs funding level as the floor in all Fiscal Year 2022 negotiations, address arrears, and make a safer and more secure world for all.”

About the Better World Campaign

The Better World Campaign, an initiative of the Better World Fund, works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. It encourages U.S. leadership to enhance the UN’s ability to carry out its invaluable international work on behalf of peace, progress, freedom, and justice. For more information, visit www.betterworldcampaign.org.

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Media Contact:

Kathryn Kross | kkross@unfoundation.org