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Senate Bill Increases Funding for International Affairs, Addresses U.S. Arrears to UN Peacekeeping

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Washington, D.C. (July 28, 2022) — Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign, released the following statement on the Chairman’s Mark Senate Appropriations bill, which provided $66.5 billion in non-emergency funding for the FY’23 International Affairs Budget, an almost 15 percent increase compared to the FY’22 enacted level:

“In terms of the United Nations, this Senate bill calls for full funding of our UN treaty obligated dues and a lifting of the arbitrary cap on peacekeeping contributions. Crucially, the bill provides a $365 million down payment on the more than $1 billion in UN Peacekeeping arrears the U.S. has accrued since Fiscal Year 2017. The bill also includes language that would allow the U.S. to reengage with UNESCO and begin funding the organization again.

“While some progress has been made, Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and SFOPS Subcommittee Chair Chris Coons (D-DE) recognized that international organizations still face significant challenges in implementing some of their most important and high-profile programs due to a continued lack of full U.S. funding. These shortfalls undermine America’s standing and influence at the UN, which a number of authoritarian regimes have sought to capitalize on.

“Chairmen Leahy and Coons and the SFOPS Subcommittee also rightly recognized the link between global health and national security by including almost $6 billion in emergency funding to support the global COVID response and pandemic preparedness. We simply must learn the lesson from past variants. By now, we know that disparities between higher and lower income countries poses a threat to us all and prolongs the pandemic.”

Noteworthy multilateral investments for FY ’23 include:

  • Peacekeeping: The bill provides $1.962 billion to the Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account, sufficient funding to pay our UN peacekeeping assessments for FY23 in-full. The bill also lifts the arbitrary 25 percent cap on U.S. contributions to UN peacekeeping operations, and includes $365 million to begin paying down our arrears.
  • UN Regular Budget: The bill provides $1.604 billion for the Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) account, sufficient to fully pay our assessments to the UN regular budget and UN specialized agencies.
  • IO&P: The bill allocates $481 million for the International Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account, a critical source of voluntary funding for the core budgets of a number of UN entities, including UNICEF, UNDP, the UN Human Rights Office, UNFPA, UN Women, UNEP, and others.
  • The bill provides a long overdue increase in funding for UNFPA ($60 million) and bilateral family planning programs ($650 million) and permanently repeals the global gag rule.
  • Importantly, this bill includes a significant increase for the Seventh Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to $2 billion per cycle year and a $25 million increase for bilateral malaria programs.
  • The SFOPS subcommittee also included $85 million for polio and $290 million for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.

“As the FY’23 appropriations process comes to a conclusion over the coming months, we call on Congress and the Administration to maintain the highest international affairs funding levels possible to ensure investments are sufficient and commensurate with what’s required to advance U.S. interests and address urgent global crises.”

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