A House committee yesterday voted to slash U.S. dues payments to the United Nations by half if the world body fails to enact sweeping reforms to its budget, human rights arm and peacekeeping missions. ... The United States pays about 22 percent of the annual $2 billion general U.N. budget, a figure that does not include major peacekeeping, education and development programs. ... The bill would also require the president to veto any new or expanded U.N. peacekeeping mission until U.N. troops are trained in an extensive new code of conduct. "We've waited and waited and waited," said Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican. "The U.N. is fully capable of reforming itself, and they just haven't done it. We have to conclude that up at the U.N., they just don't get it."
Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), chairman of the House Committee on International Relations, has put forward the U.N. Reform Act of 2005, which he says will help create a “more focused and accountable” United Nations. The U.N. Reform Act is very comprehensive. It requires broad, important reforms of many parts of the United Nations system and backs these reforms with financial withholding of 50 percent of the U.S. assessed contribution to the United Nations regular budget until the Secretary of State certifies that at least 32 of 39 reforms have been adopted. This is a very powerful inducement for the organization to reform in specific, measurable ways. ... The bill also calls on the U.N. to shift 18 programs from the assessed budget to voluntary funding. Other parts of the U.N. system already operate in this manner: UNICEF, the U.N. World Food Program, and the U.N. Development Program operate without funding from countries’ assessed dues. In addition to lowering member countries’ assessed dues and providing countries with more control over their relationship with the U.N., moving programs to voluntary funding would make them more accountable to the countries that choose to fund them. Under Hyde’s proposal, the United States would redirect a portion of the assessed contributions to these 18 programs to voluntary contributions in support of internal oversight, human rights, and humanitarian assistance.
THE ASTUTE BLOGGER called for this in December of '04. Let's hope it passes the House and then succeeds in the Senate and gets signed into law by W. AND... that the UN cleans up its act. Then again, if they don't: SCREW'EM!