U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seeking a meeting with members of the Republican Party in the U.S. House of Representatives to defend his record and attempt to address their threat to cut U.S. funding for the United Nations.
“I am sure I will be able to talk with Republicans in Congress and try to explain my priorities,” Ban told Bloomberg on Jan. 20. “I think their priorities and my priorities are the same. The only complaint they may have is the lack of much faster progress than they might have expected.”
The secretary-general said he is also frustrated by the apparent lack of progress but noted that during his four-year term, the U.N. has made “quite significant progress in terms of transparent work, accountability, more efficiency and mobility.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the new chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said she looks forward to meeting Ban.
“I’ve met with Secretary Ban in the past and I look forward to meeting with him again to discuss what I believe is a critical need to bring sweeping reform to the UN,” she told Bloomberg. “Not nearly enough has been done to address the across-the-board lack of transparency, accountability, and resistance to reform that is seen throughout the sprawling UN apparatus.”
Ros-Lehtinen is hosting a hearing with U.N. critics on Jan. 25. She has previously voiced her intentions to make U.S. financial commitment to the U.N. voluntary instead of a mandated annual contribution based on the country’s economic output.