Better World Campaign Executive Director Peter Yeo released the following statement in response to the passage of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill for FY 2012, in the House Appropriations State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee today:
“The bill passed today by the House State Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee reads like a bad sequel to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act that passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week on a party line vote. Not only does it represent a major retreat from our obligations, it comes at a time when the United Nations is asked to tackle the most critical problems facing the world today.
“Cuts to the UN regular budget and UN peacekeeping will severely handicap progress that has been made to bring peace and stability in places that teeter on the ledge of security and freedom. The UN is in Iraq and Afghanistan right now – where other UN member states pay almost 80% of the cost of these missions – helping to build capacity in the governments so when American troops leave, there will be peace and stability for these democracies. From Haiti to the Sudan, the United States has called upon UN peacekeepers to stand on the front lines in protecting civilians, promoting development, and paving the way for democracies to flourish.
“The arbitrary return to FY 2008 funding levels – levels that were insufficient then and required additional payments later to pay our arrears – works against our nation’s security interests and undermines what the United States and the UN have accomplished in these countries.
“While we recognize that Members of Congress and their staff are working in extremely challenging budgetary circumstances, the United Nations serves American interest and we cannot afford to fall back into arrears. We look forward to working with the Committee moving forward towards full funding.”
About the Better World Campaign:
The Better World Campaign (BWC) works to foster a strong, effective relationship between the United States and the United Nations (UN) through outreach, communications, and advocacy. We encourage U.S. leadership to work constructively through the United Nations and to strengthen the United Nations’ ability to carry out its invaluable operations around the world. And we engage policy makers, the media, and the American public to increase awareness of and support for the United Nations.