Washington, D.C. (April 10, 2013) — As President Obama today proposed a budget for 2014, the Better World Campaign praised the Administration for keeping the United States’ global interests a national priority and urged that Congress address remaining shortfalls to the United Nations peacekeeping budget. Peter Yeo, Executive Director, made the following statement:
“The President’s budget rightly honors our commitments to the UN and calls for paying our dues. It comes at a particularly critical time as the U.S. confronts global threats in Syria, North Korea and Iran. The U.S. cannot and should not have to go it alone in such trying times, and our strong engagement at the UN ensures that we do not have to.
“Consider, for example the more than one million refugees from Syria who currently depend on the World Food Program, UNICEF and UNHCR—the UN’s refugee agency—for access to shelter, food, and child and maternal care. The U.S. cannot provide for them alone, but through our sustained engagement at the UN, we can continue to have a meaningful impact on their survival.
“This budget renews our commitment to our multilateral and bilateral global health priorities, especially fully funding the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. Ending preventable diseases like polio and malaria has long been a priority for the U.S., and Congress needs to make sure these efforts are properly funded to save lives now and for years into the future.
“Each of these priorities is furthered by our partnership with the UN, and it’s important to remember that they reflect the beliefs of eight in 10 voters who say it is important for the U.S. to maintain an active role in the UN, and further that it is in America’s best interest to continue to actively support the UN.
“With respect to peacekeeping dues, some shortfalls from last year still remain, as does the arbitrary legal cap on peacekeeping contributions. The U.S. has advocated and voted for each of the 14 peacekeeping missions currently deployed, because these missions are manifestly in our national interest. In addition, other countries put their troops’ lives on the line, including five Indian peacekeepers who tragically died this week while carrying out their service in South Sudan. We should honor their commitment to peace and security and fully fund our peacekeeping obligations. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to ensure full funding to UN peacekeeping and to other vital UN accounts.”
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.