Washington, D.C. (May 5, 2017) — Better World Campaign President Peter Yeo issued the following statement today on the funding levels for the United Nations and UN Peacekeeping included in the FY 2017 Omnibus spending bill:
“We are deeply appreciative of the successful efforts made by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for the past eight years to fully fund America’s contributions to the United Nations. As a result, American leadership at the UN has been greatly strengthened and our country has been able to successfully push for far-reaching and meaningful reforms in the organization.
“In the Omnibus bill, we are pleased that the Trump Administration and a bipartisan majority in Congress maintained this progress by agreeing to fully fund the UN regular budget and a number of UN agencies, including the UN’s Children Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Program (UNDP), and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). These funding commitments come just one week after nine former U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations under five different Republican and Democratic administrations sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging full funding for the organization.
“Unfortunately, the bill eliminates funding for key environmental programs like the Green Climate Fund and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, doesn’t redress the misguided determination that defunded the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and falls short on fully funding the U.S. negotiated share of UN Peacekeeping operations.
“Of equal concern, the reinstatement of the 25 percent cap on the U.S. share of peacekeeping costs, instead of the actual 28 percent rate previously negotiated by the U.S. will return the U.S. into arrears on its UN contributions for the first time in nearly a decade. As a result, our ability to achieve American national security and foreign policy objectives in the UN Security Council, and to lead on continued UN reforms, will be diminished.
“Despite a decade-long streak of bipartisan support for the UN on Capitol Hill, the FY 2017 Omnibus bill is mixed in terms of meeting our financial obligations to the United Nations.
“We urge Congress and the Administration to restore our nation’s commitment to the UN and UN Peacekeeping by paying our bills in full in FY 2018.”
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.