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Congress Set to Make Needed Investments in UN, Ukraine; More Support Needed for COVID, Peacekeeping

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Washington, D.C. (March 9, 2022) — Better World Campaign President Peter Yeo released the following statement on House agreement of a final fiscal year 2022 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) Appropriations bill:

“We are encouraged to see that Congress seems intent on making major new and sustained investments in the United Nations. The bill fully funds the entire U.S. assessment to the UN regular budget and addresses human rights-related financial arrears that accumulated during the previous administration.

“The legislation contains important funding increases in humanitarian spending for UN agencies, especially those focused on millions of Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced people.

“The omnibus also includes vital voluntary contributions to UN funds, programs and agencies, including increases for two critical partners – the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“We must acknowledge our concern around the overall International Affairs Budget funding level, UN peacekeeping funding and arrears. With just a 1 percent increase compared to last year’s baseline funding, this final spending deal falls significantly short of what the Administration, the House, and the Senate previously outlined was necessary for vital U.S. diplomacy, development, and global health programs. Plus, while the legislation provides $1.5 billion for UN peacekeeping missions, it does not include a lift of the arbitrary peacekeeping cap, which prevents the U.S. from paying its agreed upon share. Again, these funding levels were requested by President Biden and both the House and Senate State Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittees. This should be addressed next year to allow the U.S. to better advance U.S. priorities at the UN, reimburse troop contributing countries, and counter authoritarian regimes within global bodies.

“We were disappointed that funds meant to support the international COVID response, which contribute to the health of Americans, were not included in the final package. Globally, the COVID pandemic is still raging; supporting the global effort to end this pandemic will help stop the next variant, and get our country and others back to normal.

“The bill also failed to capitalize on bipartisan support for increased funding for bilateral family planning programs and UNFPA. By leaving the so-called “global gag rule” in place, which prevents foreign non-governmental organizations from receiving U.S. funding if they provide information about legal abortion, Congress missed an opportunity to provide for families even as the need for these life-saving programs continues to grow.

“Finally, we want to thank the Chairs and Ranking Members of the State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee, together with their staff, for the hard work in producing this bill and their understanding of the UN’s important role in tackling global crises. We also appreciate the leadership of President Biden and Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield in proposing full UN funding and arrears payments in the FY’22 budget request.

“Over the coming year, we look forward to working closely with Congress and the Biden Administration to ensure sufficient resources are in place for the United Nations to provide a global response to global threats, which contribute directly to America’s safety and security.”

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