America's $1.7 Billion Debt to the UN
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Pay Them (Some of It)
H.R. 1266, to authorize appropriations for the payment of United States arrearages to the United Nations, sponsored by Rep. James A. Leach (R. IA), sets aside (appropriates) $315,700,000 "for the payment of arrearages in assessed contributions of the United States to the United Nations (other than contributions for international peacekeeping activities) for fiscal years prior to fiscal year 1999." ("Arrearages" being how you say "past due" in government.)
In support of making this 1999 payment ($315,700,000) to the UN, Rep. Leach's H.R. 1266 states, in part:
1. The United States played a leading role in the founding of the United Nations in 1945.
2. The United Nations , which by charter is dedicated to saving "succeeding generations from the scourge of war", continues to promote important interests of the United States in the protection of human rights, the control of weapons of mass destruction, advancing the ideal of democracy, open international trade and investment, the promotion of sustainable development, refugee protection and humanitarian relief, the prevention of global conflict, eradicating disease, and environmental protection.
3. The United States remains committed to working to achieve reform and instill greater budget discipline in the United Nations , and to continue the trend toward restructuring and revitalizing that organization.
4. Ongoing reform efforts in the United Nations are jeopardized by a serious financial crisis, caused in part by arrearages on payments by member states.
5. The United States is the leading debtor to the United Nations , owing close to $1,300,000,000 at the end of 1998 for the regular and peacekeeping operations of the United Nations .
6. The assessed share of the United States for the regular budget of the United Nations is just over $304,000,000 for 1998, or slightly more than $1 for each citizen of the United States.
7. Article 17 of the United Nations Charter states that the expenses of the Organization shall be borne by the members as apportioned by the General Assembly', of which the United States is a member.
8. Payment by the United States of its assessment for the regular budget and the peacekeeping operations of the United Nations is a solemn treaty obligation under international law, voluntarily undertaken through the ratification by the United States of the United Nations Charter.
9. Efforts to reform and revitalize the United Nations cannot succeed without the political, moral, financial, and material support of the United States.
10. United States leadership in an effective United Nations will be seriously jeopardized if the Congress fails to fulfill the financial obligations of the United States to the United Nations in a full and timely manner, consistent with international law and the role of the United States as a founder and leading member of the United Nations.
On the other hand,
Don't Pay Them (Any of It)
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