Obama’s Fiscal Commission Endorses UN Funding Cut, OPIC Termination

U.S. President Barack Obama chats with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening reception of the G-20 summit in Toronto, Canada, on June 26, 2010. Obama's fiscal reform commission recommends reducing U.S. voluntary contributions to the U.N. Photo by: Mark Garten / United Nations

A draft report of U.S. President Barack Obama’s fiscal reform commission urges a cut of the U.S. government’s voluntary contributions to the United Nations.

The move will help the U.S. save USD300 million each year, according to the draft report.

“The United States is by far the largest donor to the United Nations in terms of assessed dues,” the draft by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform says. “However, the United States gives the United Nations more than [USD]3.5 billion in ‘voluntary’ funds each year. This option allows the United States to remain a member in good standing of the United Nations by contributing the full dues that will be assessed, but reduces voluntary payments by 10 percent, which will save [USD]300 million per year.” 

As reported by Devex, arrears of member states to the U.N. have almost doubled the 2009 level to USD4.1 billion, with the U.S. accounting for USD1.2 billion of the total.

>> Arrears at UN Hit USD4.1B

The draft report also calls for the elimination of the Overseas Private Investment Corp., which provides U.S. firms with subsidies for foreign investments and insurance against political risks. It recommends canceling new activities of OPIC but stresses that the corporation’s existing portfolio will be completed.

“The main rationale for implementing this option is that the activities of OPIC may not provide net public benefits to the United States. Its subsidies deliver benefits to foreigners and selected U.S. businesses,” the draft report argues. “Furthermore, its subsidies to nations of strategic importance to the United States tend to overlap with and duplicate those provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development and by private insurance firms. They also could hamper the development of local financial institutions and markets in those countries.”

U.S. President Barack Obama has set up the commission to help address rising national debt, which has hit USD13.6 trillion, and federal deficit, which is now at USD140.4 billion, CNSNews.com notes.

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    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.