Washington, D.C. (July 21, 2011) — Better World Campaign Executive Director Peter Yeo released the following statement in response to the passage of the FY 2012 Foreign Relations Authorization Act, in the House Foreign Affairs Committee today:
“We appreciate the committee’s efforts to enact a State Department Authorization bill that could be an effective long-term guide to strengthening the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. However, this bill does not achieve this laudable goal. Instead, the legislation passed today severely undermines our national security interests and will force our nation back into debt at the UN.
“Failing to meet our UN obligations will diminish our ability to leverage the UN in support of vital U.S. national security objectives. Instead of working constructively with other nations, the bill will force the U.S. to go it alone. Just within the past year, the UN Security Council has authorized military action to protect innocent lives in Libya, established a new mission to promote peace and development in South Sudan, acted as the sole line of defense to protect the democratically elected president in Cote d’Ivoire, and ensured a peaceful election in Haiti.
“Working together with our international allies at the UN, we saw the adoption of further sanctions on Iran earlier this year to curb that country’s illicit nuclear program, successfully undermining Iran’s ability to conduct business. Failure to pay America’s dues to the UN will severely erode America’s ability to promote its national security interests in the context of the UN.
“This bill is also inconsistent with what Americans want. Bipartisan polling shows that 85% of American voters believe that the United States must be actively engaged at the UN. The majority of voters across party lines also said they support the payment of U.S. dues to the UN and UN peacekeeping on time and in full. It is time for Congress to listen.”
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.