As Republicans Urge Aid Cuts, Obama Administration Ensures UN Reforms

The U.S. government will continue to press reforms at the United Nations as it fulfills its financial contributions to the world agency, the U.S. envoy to the U.N. said amid calls from House Republicans to cut the country’s funding for the agency.

“Paying our bills in full and on time doesn’t mean giving the U.N. a pass.  As we work with Congress in a bipartisan spirit to meet our responsibilities, we continue to lead the charge for serious and comprehensive reform,” U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice told the World Affairs Council of Oregon on Feb. 11.

House Republicans want to suspend U.S. contribution to the U.N. in a bid to encourage reforms at the global agency. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has introduced a proposal to reclaim some USD179 million in U.S. overpayments to U.N., which failed to pass in the House of Representatives.

>> Bill to Reclaim Some UN Funding Fails to Pass in US House of Representatives

Rice acknowledged that the U.N. needs to be “more lean, more nimble, and more cost-effective,” and do more to “create a culture of economy, ethics, and excellence.”

In a Jan. 25 House panel, Ros-Lehtinen raised concern that U.S funding for the U.N. has been misspent, adding that U.N. programs are not advancing U.S. interests and values.

>> US House Panel Hears From UN Advocates, Critics

Rice responded to such criticisms, saying that “some of the criticisms of the U.N. are overdone, and some are right on the money.”

“Despite the U.N.’s flaws, it’s indispensable to our security in this age of tighter bonds and tighter belts,” she said.

Read more about U.S.development aid.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.