Washington, D.C.  United Nations Foundation President Senator Timothy E. Wirth welcomed the Administration’s reaffirmation of opposition to automatically withholding dues to the United Nations by UN Ambassador John Bolton in his testimony at a House International Relations Committee hearing on UN reform this morning.

“Legislation mandating the withholding of UN dues is counterproductive and undermines efforts for meaningful UN reform. As Mr. Bolton said today, the UN has already taken ‘an important first step’ toward reform. Now that we have increasing momentum toward further changes at the organization, withholding U.S. dues would send the exactly the wrong message,” said Senator Timothy E. Wirth.

In June 2005, the House passed The United Nations Reform Act of 2005 which would automatically withhold dues from the UN unless certain specific reforms are met. The Bush Administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) which said that it has “serious concerns” about the legislation because it “could detract from and undermine our efforts,” and “asks that Congress reconsider this legislation.” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has also recently stated that “the Administration doesn’t support those bills.”