Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Will the US finally stop financing UN waste of money?

After the popular uprising in Libya, the country was finally suspended from the UN Human Rights Council. Only last year madman Gaddafi was warmly welcomed by a number of other members (whose own human rights credentials are less than outstanding)

The US has always been the main paymaster of the United Nations. This has continued, inspite of occasional grumbling of several US administrations about UN profligacy. Finally, it appears that we will see some serious action to prevent unnecessary waste of  US taxpayers´ money:

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican chairwoman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee has introduced a bill, the U.N. Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act, which should make the UN bureacracy think twice before introducing expensive new projects (e.g. with regard to (bogus) climate change :

The Ros-Lehtinen bill stipulates that the lion’s share of the U.N. budget be moved from mandatory to voluntary funding. This would fundamentally alter the current system, under which the United States simply is informed what it must pay each year. Under the one-country, one-vote procedures at the United Nations, the United States has no more say over the budget than does tiny Tuvalu. The budget can be passed by two-thirds of the U.N. General Assembly (129 nations) that collectively could pay less than 1 percent of all dues over the objection of the United States, which pays 22 times that amount. Moving toward voluntary funding would lessen the likelihood that United States taxpayers’ dollars could be used to support anti-Israel initiatives such as the Durban conference or the notorious Goldstone report.
Moreover, voluntary dues would encourage more efficiency at U.N. agencies that have become accustomed to automatic funding and lack any real incentives to economize or compete. On Monday, a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Joseph M. Torsella, complained that plans to increase the salaries of U.N. employees by 3 percent were “inappropriate at this time of fiscal austerity.” Apparently, no one at the United Nations understands the meaning of the word “austerity.” Incredibly, the U.N.’s budget has increased faster than the federal government’s in the last ten years, despite the United States’ bearing the majority of the cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The bill would also withhold funds from the embarrassing Human Rights Council until it removes from its committee those nations listed as human-rights abusers, known sponsors of terrorism, violators of religious freedom, and those currently under sanctions — a commonsense initiative that could only possibly be controversial at the world body, which sees nothing amiss in North Korea’s serving on the proliferation committee.

Read the entire National Review article here

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