In addition to paying off debt and keeping up with new peacekeeping assessments, Congress should fully fund the State Department’s Contributions to International Organizations, or CIO, account, which provides funds to pay assessed dues at 44 international organizations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, The World Health Organization, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which are essential for U.S. foreign affairs interests.
As of this year, the chronically under-funded CIO account has accumulated a $400 million shortfall, with the United States behind in its payments to nearly every major CIO organization. Underfunding these organizations undermines the U.S. interest in getting these bodies to perform more effectively and adds to their management difficulties. WHO, for example, has cited U.S. arrears as hurting its ability to provide well-managed budgets, which in turn has caused major delays in programs becoming operational.
Congress should also show support for the U.N. Peacebuilding Fund, which addresses countries’ immediate needs as they emerge from conflict and supports countries before the Peacebuilding Commission. The United States has not offered a contribution to the Fund, which is still millions of dollars short of its funding target, even though failed states are the most likely safe havens and recruiting grounds for terrorist groups.
Finally, Congress should work toward restoring funding to the United Nations Population Fund, from which the Bush administration has been withholding funds since 2002. The administration cut off support for the UNPF claiming that the organization was supporting coerced abortions in China. A 2002 State Department report, however, found no evidence that UNFP had knowingly supported or participated in such a program, and recommended that funding be released.
For more information on the Center’s policies on the United Nations, please see: