Washington, D.C. (July 24, 2020) – Better World Campaign President Peter Yeo issued the following statement today to mark the passage of the Fiscal Year 2021 House State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs funding bill:
“At a time of great global uncertainty and critical need, the House Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill that provides $65.87 billion in funding for the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations and other international programs and activities.
“This bill was only possible thanks to several key champions on Capitol Hill who stood up for the UN and the values it represents.
“Chairwoman Lowey (D-NY) led the committee in securing an increase to the international organizations account, reinforcing her decades-long commitment to multilateral organizations as a good investment to advance and promote American interests around the world.
“We commend Representatives Panetta (D-CA) and Sherman (D-CA) for their amendment ensuring no funds would be used to withdraw the U.S. from the WHO. They stood up for what is right, and what a majority of Americans want: for the U.S. to remain a part of WHO now and in the future.
“We also praise the leadership of Representatives Cicilline (D-RI), Castro (D-TX), Pocan (D-WI), Deutch (D-FL), and Meng (D-NY) in discouraging the State Department from using the final report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights as a framework for addressing human rights inside the United States government, or abroad. Their amendment upholds the principles outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which aims to protect the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights to which all people in every country are entitled.
“The authors of the UDHR made clear that the rights they enumerated applied to all human beings and they pointedly declined to elevate certain rights over others, since they were all too aware that this opened the path to selective interpretations of its principles. The representatives’ amendment today aimed to protect those same values.
“As we recognize the actions of these individual Members of Congress and their staff, we must also acknowledge the tens of thousands of Americans – notably United Nations Association of the USA members, Nothing But Nets champions, and Shot@Life advocates – who wrote, called and tweeted at their elected officials in support of full funding for the UN, its agencies, and a robust foreign affairs budget.
“This spending bill is a testament to the power of a few individuals making a world of a difference.”
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.