Washington, D.C. (Jan. 20, 2012) — Better World Campaign Executive Director Peter Yeo released the following statement on the next steps in the Administration’s agenda for reforming the United Nations outlined in a speech today by U.S. Representative to the United Nations for UN Management and Reform Joseph M. Torsella:
“Ambassador Torsella’s speech demonstrates a renewed commitment by the United States to work with the UN to make it a more effective and efficient institution. The reform initiatives announced today build upon serious reforms currently underway in New York which will reduce costs and promote American interests.
“The UN is working hard to make the transition to a robust 21st-century institution. It is already a leader on issues such as women, human rights and energy, which are the key 21st-century issues and the realities of today.
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as Ambassador Torsella noted, has been a strong leader for modernizing the United Nations. As a result of joint efforts by the Secretary-General and the Obama Administration, the UN has moved forward with important initiatives to reduce costs, increase transparency, improve oversight and boost internal management systems.
“Just last month, as a result of strong leadership by Ambassador Torsella, UN member states approved a two-year budget containing a five percent reduction from the previous biennial budget.
“We particularly welcome Ambassador Torsella’s call on Congress to continue to pay American dues to the UN on time and in full in today’s discussion, and his statement that legislatively tying American dues to UN reforms would complicate his ability to effectively promote UN reform. The United States will need all the allies it can find in New York to succeed with its reform agenda, and these potential allies will disappear if the U.S. has failed to live up to its obligations.
“Given the vitally important ways that the UN serves American interests, it is important that we continue to make it a more strong and effective institution. Around the clock, the UN brings member states together to collectively address problems that the United States cannot solve alone, from stopping the development of an Iranian nuclear weapon, to combating global pandemics, to responding to natural disasters big and small, to bringing peace and stability to war-torn countries by deploying UN peacekeepers.”
For the U.S. Mission to the United Nations’ fact sheet on the Obama Administration’s accomplishments on reforming the United Nations, please visit: http://usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/182251.htm.
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.