Washington, D.C. (May 27, 2016) – With an eye toward 2017, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has laid groundwork for a new session of Congress and a new Presidential Administration to maintain a strong U.S. relationship with the United Nations, the Better World Campaign (BWC) said.
“The Committee’s FY 2017 State Authorities Bill, which builds on Senate passage of a similar bill, advances our global security priorities by endeavoring to make the UN the strongest institution it can be,” said Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign. “Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel have put forward an effective long-term guide that ensures the U.S. does not have to go it alone in solving the world’s greatest challenges. It’s been 14 years since an authorization of the Department of State was signed into law, and this measure should be embraced by the full House of Representatives.”
The measure appropriately focuses on transparency and whistleblowing reforms as well as holding the UN accountable for sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers. In fact, it takes a strong step towards answering the call from Americans who want to see continued strong engagement at the UN, as well as accountability for its failings.
In his testimony before a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee last month, BWC Director Jordie Hannum addressed this very point, saying, “The question is: how do we support the vital work being done by UN peacekeepers… and at the same time, implement meaningful steps to stop sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers and ensure justice for victims?”
Commenting on the legislation, Yeo said, “The Committee’s approach to improving the UN recognizes that the best way to advance reform is constructively; withholding contributions or going into arrears makes it more, not less, difficult to push change.”
The House measure follows in the path of a Senate State Department Authorization bill, which passed through the Senate last month.
“We applaud Chairman Corker and Ranking Member Cardin for delivering on the first passage of a State Department Authorization bill within the Senate in well over a decade. We look forward to working with both chambers to secure passage and advance something we all believe in – a UN that is best situated to meet the transnational challenges we face today,” concluded Yeo.
About the Better World Campaign:
The Better World Campaign (BWC), 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