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Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations Budget Better Reflects Voter Sentiment than House Counterpart

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Washington, D.C. (May 24, 2012) — The Senate Appropriations Committee today passed a fiscal year 2013 budget that significantly improves upon last week’s House-passed measure, which would have put the United States into arrears at the United Nations. The move comes on the heels of new polling that eight in 10 voters want a strong U.S.-UN relationship.

The Senate measure would more robustly fund both the Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) and the State Department’s Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) accounts. Further, it provides funds for programs the House version would have eliminated, including the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).

Regrettably, however, the Senate proposal does withhold some funds for the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through a reduction in the CIO account.

In response, Better World Campaign Executive Director Peter Yeo made the following statement:

“The members of the Senate Appropriations Committee have put forward a State & Foreign Operations budget that can be a roadmap for the strong U.S.-UN relationship voters demand, which places the U.S. in the strongest possible position to advance our interests overseas.

“Each morning, Americans wake up to news headlines announcing that UN peacekeepers are working to bring stability to the most war-torn and fragile corners of the world. In Sudan and South Sudan, the threat of war is pushed back each day that peacekeepers keep boots on the ground. In Haiti, violence is curbed because of the UN’s steadfast presence, allowing for progress in the rebuilding effort. And in Iraq and Afghanistan, UN missions are working closely with the U.S. to build a capacity for peace, stability, and democracy.

“No country can promote international security or take on these highly complex issues alone. Rather, the U.S. must be willing to come to the table and work with its global partners, including the United Nations, to build a more peaceful and prosperous world.  The Senate’s plan, while perhaps not perfect, is indeed the better plan to move us in this direction.

“As the budget process moves forward, we look forward to continuing to work with members of the Appropriations Committees in both chambers to ensure full funding for U.S. involvement in all UN programs.”

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.

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