Wednesday, September 28, 2005

UN Dues - Why Do We Pay Them?

With UN reforms discussions proceeding at a snail's pace, Congress has threatened to withhold our allocation of dues owed to the world body; a move others in the UN caution the US not to make. (China View: US Congress urged not to withhold UN dues). The subtle threat from developing nations is that a delay in US dues allocation may result in a less-than-desirable definition of terrorism. Rather than discuss whether or not to withhold dues until reforms are approved, we should really be discussing a permanent reduction in the US allocation of funds to an organization that has already overstayed its welcome in New York City.

The US already is assessed 25% of the UN's general budget. In fact, 46% of the budget is handled exclusively by the US, Japan, and the UK. 31.7% of the cost of UN peacekeeping is paid for by the US. Of course, the phrase "UN peacekeeping" is usually synonymous with "US military commitment." When you look at troop allocations in UN peacekeeping efforts, you will find an overwhelming majority of Americans under that blue UN banner.

US supplied logistical support, weapons, NATO flights, intelligence services, ships and manpower are donated, whereas other nations are reimbursed for the same services. When it comes to charity, the US is already the largest donor to UN sanctioned independent agencies.

Forgive me if I think we're already paying more than our fair share. When we start looking at ways to cut the budget, UN dues bubbles to the top of the list. Without significant reforms in the way that organization is run, the way committees are structured, how nations are selected for the Security Council, and the overall weight US opinion has, there is absolutely no justification for the overcommitment of US funds being leeched by the UN. As it stands now, it's a waste of our tax dollars with almost no return on investment. In fact, all we get for our efforts is criticism and increased anti-American rhetoric, even from so-called allies.

Withhold the UN dues? Absolutely. Let's see the UN survive without US funds and US troops. The League of Nations couldn't, and I doubt very well the UN could either. It's high time the rest of the world learned that same lesson.


1 comment :

Alan Fraser said...

You can deal with China at the table or on the battlefield and the UN has the only tables in town at which both parties will sit down. Complaining about the cost of the furniture is, in my view, pretty short-sighted.