United Nations System Funding: Congressional Issues
United Nations System Funding:
Updated November 13, 2008
Marjorie Ann Browne
Specialist in International Relations
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Kennon H. Nakamura
Analyst in Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
United Nations System Funding:
The congressional debate over United Nations funding focuses on several
questions, including (1) What is the appropriate level of U.S. funding for U.N.
system operations and programs? (2) What U.S. funding actions are most likely to
produce a positive continuation of U.N. system reform efforts?
The U.N. system includes the United Nations, a number of specialized or
affiliated agencies, voluntary and special funds and programs, and U.N. peacekeeping
operations. Participating states finance the system with assessed contributions to the
budgets of the United Nations and its specialized agencies. In addition, voluntary
contributions are made both to those agencies and to the special programs and funds
they set up and manage. For more than 60 years, the United States has been the
single largest financial contributor to the U.N. system, supplying in recent years 22%
of most U.N. agency budgets. (See Appendix B for an organizational chart that
illustrates the components of the U.N. system.)
Both Congress and the executive branch have sought to promote their policy
goals and reform of the United Nations and its system of organizations and programs,
especially to improve management and budgeting practices. In the 1990s, Congress
linked payment of U.S. financial contributions and its arrears to reform.
This report, which will be updated, tracks the process by which Congress
provides the funding for U.S. assessed contributions to the regular budgets of the
United Nations, its agencies, and U.N. peacekeeping operation accounts, as well for
U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. system programs and funds. It includes
information on the President’s request and the congressional response, as well as
congressional initiatives during this legislative process. Basic information is
provided to help the reader understand this process.
This report replaces CRS Issue Brief IB86116, United Nations System Funding:
Congressional Issues, by Marjorie Ann Browne and Vita Bite.
Most Recent Developments..........................................1
Current Funding Information.........................................2
In troduction ..................................................2
U.N. System Financing: Brief Overview............................2
Current U.S. Funding...............................................4
Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008........................6
FY2007 Emergency Supplemental...........................10
FY2007 Funding .............................................11
U.N. Peacekeeping Accounts................................14
Tables on U.S. Contributions: FY2004-FY2008 and FY2009 Request.......15
Other Basic Information............................................17
Scale of Assessments..........................................17
Funding the U.N. War Crimes Tribunals...........................22
The United Nations Capital Master Plan...........................23
Final Approved Solutions..................................24
Design, Planning, and Pre-construction Funding.................25
U.S. Contributions to the CMP and Congress...................26
Problems and Issues.......................................28
Congress and Funding the U.N. System...............................28
Contributions Reporting Requirement.............................30
Office of Internal Oversight Services.........................33
The Helms-Biden Agreement and Payment of Arrears............33
Task Force on the United Nations............................34
Congress and U.N. Reform: 2005-2006.......................34
Reform Initiatives in the United Nations.......................35
Appendix A. Congress and Funding the U.N. System: FY2004-FY2005.....38
U.N. Voluntary Programs......................................41
U.N. Peacekeeping Operations..................................42
Appendix B. The United Nations System: An Organizational Chart.........43
List of Tables
Table 1. U.S. Contributions to Recent U.N. System Assessed Regular
Table 2. U.S. Voluntary Contributions to U.N. Programs Financed Through
the Foreign Assistance Act (International Organizations and Programs)..16
Table 3. Top 10 U.N. Regular Budget Contributors for 2008..............19
Table 4. U.S. Assessment Levels: U.N. Specialized Agencies and IAEA.....21
Table 5. U.N. Appropriations for Headquarters Renovation, 2000-2006......26
Table 6. U.S. Contributions to the Capital Master Plan Account............27
United Nations System Funding:
Most Recent Developments
On February 4, 2008, President Bush requested $1,529,400,000 for the
Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) account, Department of State,
including $452,560,000 for the United Nations regular budget and $1,497,000,000
for the Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account,
Department of State. The request also included $276,900,000 for the International
Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account, Foreign Operations, which includes
voluntary contributions to several U.N. system programs. He also requested, through
the Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs (NADR)
account, $50 million for U.S. voluntary contributions to the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA). On May 2, 2008, the President sent Congress amendments
to his FY2009 Budget, including the addition of $40,000,000 to the CIO account to
fund U.S. contributions to the U.N. special political missions in Iraq and
On June 30, 2008, the President signed H.R. 2642, the Supplemental
Appropriations Act, 2008 (P.L. 110-252). Under Supplemental Appropriations for
Fiscal Year 2008, for the Department of State and Foreign Operations, Congress
appropriated $66,000,000 for the CIO account and $373,708,000 for the CIPA
account. Under Bridge Fund Supplemental Appropriations for FY2009, Congress
provided $75,000,000 for the CIO account and $150,500,000 for the CIPA account,
both to become available October 1, 2008.
On July 18, 2008, the Senate Committee on Appropriations reported S. 3288,
the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations
bill, 2009. The committee provided $1,529,400,000, as requested, for the CIO
account; $1,650,000,000 for the CIPA account; and $364,000,000 to the IO&P
account. The committee also provided $66,000,000 to fund U.S. voluntary
contributions to the IAEA. This bill was not considered on the Senate floor. On July
16, 2008, the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House
Appropriations Committee approved its FY2009 recommendations which were not
considered by the full committee. The text of a bill was not published.
On September 30, 2008, the President signed H.R. 2638, Division A of which
was the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2009, extending funding at FY20081
levels through March 6, 2009.
1 P.L. 110-329.
Current Funding Information
The United States has been, and remains, the single largest financial contributor
to the United Nations (U.N.) system. For calendar year (CY) 2005, U.S.
contributions to the U.N. system totaled nearly $4.3 billion.2 This included
$810,194,000 in assessed contributions to the regular budgets of the United Nations
and its specialized agencies and $77,232,995 in assessed contributions to the two war
crimes tribunals. In CY2005, the United States contributed $1,107,996,360 in
assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping operations. Finally, U.S. voluntary
contributions to U.N. system special programs and funds totaled $2,298,971,000. In
recent years, however, Congress has been pressing to reduce U.S. funding for many
U.N. system programs. Congressional debate over U.N. funding has focused on
several questions: (1) What is the appropriate level of U.S. funding for U.N. system
operations and programs? (2) What U.S. funding actions are most likely to produce
a positive continuation of U.N. system reform efforts? and (3) How should the
United States address its accumulated arrearages?
This report tracks the process by which Congress provides the funding for U.S.
assessed contributions to the regular budgets of the United Nations, its agencies, and
U.N. peacekeeping operation accounts as well for U.S. voluntary contributions to
U.N. system programs and funds. It includes information on the President’s request
and the congressional response as well as congressional initiatives during this
legislative process. Basic information is provided to help the reader understand this
U.N. System Financing: Brief Overview
The United Nations (U.N.) system is made up of variously interconnected
components including specialized agencies, voluntary funds and programs,
peacekeeping operations, and the U.N. organization itself.3 The system is financed
by contributions from member and/or participant states. The contributions are
usually made in two ways: assessed contributions — required “dues” at percentages
established by the membership of each organization involved — and voluntary
contributions, which represent more than half of the total aggregated funds received
by the U.N. system.
Assessed Contributions. Assessed contributions finance the regular
budgets of the United Nations, the specialized agencies, and the International Atomic
2 The CY2005 figures in this paragraph are from two U.N. documents: Budgetary and
Financial Situation of Organizations of the United Nations System. Note by the Secretary-
General transmitting the Statistical Report of the United Nations System Chief Executives
Board for Coordination.... U.N. document A/61/203, dated July 28, 2006, and Status of
Contributions as at 31 December 2005. U.N. document ST/ADM/SER.B/673.
3 See Appendix B for organizational chart of The United Nations System, taken from the
U.N. website: [http://www.un.org/aboutun/chart.html].
Energy Agency (IAEA). Payment of the assessed contribution is one of the legal
obligations accepted by a country when it joins the organization. In this way, the
organization has a regular source of income for staffing and implementation of
authorized programs. Most U.N. peacekeeping operations are funded through special
U.S. assessed contributions are funded from the State Department’s budget.
Congress authorizes these funds as part of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act
and currently appropriates the money in the Department of State, Foreign Operations,
and Related Programs appropriations legislation.4 The regular assessed budgets of
U.N. system organizations as well as regional and other non-U.N. organizations are
included in the Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) account, while
assessed peacekeeping contributions are funded in the Contributions to International
Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account.
Voluntary Contributions. Voluntary contributions finance special programs
and offices created by the U.N. system, such as the United Nations Development
Program (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United
Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the U.N. Democracy Fund (UNDEF).
Payment of these contributions is entirely up to each individual country; no country
is legally obliged to contribute to these programs.
U.S. voluntary contributions are financed through the foreign assistance
authorization and appropriation legislation, primarily through the International
Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account of what was formerly the Foreign
Operations Act.5 This IO&P account does not fund U.S. voluntary contributions to
the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.N. Relief and Works
Agency for Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the U.N. Narcotics Control Fund,
or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
4 In the 109th Congress, the House Appropriations Committee recommended appropriation
of these funds in the Science, the Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related
Agencies Appropriations Act while the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended
appropriation of these funds in the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programsth
Appropriations Act. Starting with the 110 Congress, both the House and Senate
Appropriations committees have a Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related
5 The House has, in the past, recommended funding through a separate Foreign Operations
Appropriations Act. See CRS Report RL33420, Foreign Operations (House)/State, Foreign
Operations, and Related Programs (Senate): FY2007 Appropriations, by Larry Nowels,
Connie Veillette, and Susan B. Epstein. Starting with FY2008, Foreign Operations
appropriations is not a separate piece of legislation but included with State Department
appropriations. See previous footnote.
Current U.S. Funding
Assessed Contributions. On February 4, 2008, the President requested
$1,529,400,000 for payment of U.S. assessed contributions (CIO account) to the 45
international (including regional) intergovernmental organizations that the United
States is a member of. The CIO account request included the following amounts for
the United Nations:
!United Nations regular budget: $452,500,000
!U.N. Capital Master Plan (CMP): $75,535,000
!U.N. War Crimes Tribunal — Yugoslavia: $21,571,000
!U.N. War Crimes Tribunal — Rwanda: $14,967,000
The aggregated total for this category is $564,573,000. The amount requested for
U.S. assessed contributions to the regular budgets of 11 other separate U.N. system
agencies was $522,517,000. On May 2, 2008, the President requested, in an
amendment to the FY2009 budget, an additional amount of $40,000,000 for the CIO,
to fund U.S. contributions for the costs of the U.N. Assistance Mission in
Afghanistan (UNAMA) [$10,000,000] and the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq
(UNAMI) [$30,000,000], both of which are special political missions financed from
the U.N. regular budget.
On July 18, 2008, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported S. 3288, the
Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill,6
2009. The committee recommended the appropriation of $1,529,400,000 for the
CIO account, as requested by the President, and in addition to the $75,000,0007
already appropriated in P.L. 110-252, in Bridge Funding for FY2009. The
committee “directs OMB to request sufficient funds to pay annual U.S. assessed dues
and any accumulated arrears to international organizations and encourages the
Department of State to evaluate the benefit of U.S. membership on an annual basis.”8
Voluntary Contributions. For FY2009, the President requested
$276,900,000 for the International Organizations and Programs Account (IO&P), to
fund U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. system programs and those of other
organizations. This request included $124,500,000 for UNICEF and $75,300,000 for
the U.N. Development Program (UNDP). He also requested, through the
Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs
(Nonproliferation) account of the Department of State, Foreign Operations and
Related Programs appropriations, $50 million for U.S. voluntary contributions to the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
6 S.Rept. 110-425.
7 See section below, “Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008.”
8 S.Rept. 110-425, p. 23.
On July 18, 2008, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended the
appropriation of $364,000,000 for the IO&P account, $84,100,000 above the
President’s request of $276,900,000. The committee’s table of its recommendations
for this account included $129,000,000 for UNICEF (an increase of $4,500,000 over
the President’s request) and $97,500,000 for UNDP (an increase of $22,200,000
above the request); the addition of $2,000,000 for the U.N. Procurement Task Force;
and no funds for the U.N. Democracy Fund ($14,000,000 had been requested). The
report noted the committee’s support for “continuation of an independent
procurement task force to address fraud and corruption within the United Nations.”
The committee also requested “the administration to explain how a contribution to
the UNDF [U.N. Democracy Fund] fits into its overall strategy to promote
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended, in the Nonproliferation,
Anti-terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs account, the appropriation of
$$66,000,000 for U.S. voluntary contributions to the IAEA. That is an amount
$16,000,000 above the President’s request of $50,000,000.10
Peacekeeping Accounts. On February 4, 2008, the President requested for
FY2009, $1,497,000,000 to pay U.S. assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping
operations, in the State Department’s Contributions to International Peacekeeping
Activities (CIPA) account. This request included $31,000,000 for the two
international war crimes tribunals (Yugoslavia and Rwanda) that are not
On July 18, 2008, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended
$1,650,000,000 in appropriations to the CIPA account, an amount that is
$153,000,000 above the President’s request. This is in addition to the $150,500,000
provided in Bridge Funding for FY2009 in P.L. 110-252. The committee noted “that
the budget request for U.S. assessed contributions to international peacekeeping
missions assumed a reduction in the cost of every mission below the fiscal year 2008
operating level.... The Committee recognizes the significant contribution to
international peace and stability provided by U.N. peacekeeping activities, without
the participation of U.S. troops. The Committee does not support OMB’s practice
of under-funding peacekeeping activities and relying on limited supplemental funds
to support only a few missions.”
The committee bill included language, as requested by the President, to “adjust
the authorized level of U.S. assessments for peacekeeping activities for calendar year
2009 and prior years from 25 percent to 27.1 percent, consistent with the level set in
fiscal year 2008 (Public Law 110-161).” The committee expected “that future budget
requests shall include sufficient funding to support such authorization.”11
9 S.Rept. 110-425, p. 66.
10 S.Rept. 110-425, p. 58.
11 S.Rept. 110-425, pages 23-24.
Combined Discussion. The Senate did not consider S. 3288, the
Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act,
2009. On July 16, 2008, the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the
House Appropriations Committee approved its FY2009 bill, which was referred to
the full committee. The subcommittee recommendation was never issued as a bill.
On September 30, 2008, the President signed into law H.R. 2638, the
Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act,12
provided appropriations for nine regular appropriations for FY2009, through March
6, 2009, at FY2008 spending levels, as apportioned by the Office of Management and
Budget (OMB).13 Funds available for the CIO, CIPA, and IO&P accounts are
estimated to be as follows:
!CIO account: $577,808,968
!CIPA account: $525,800,000
!IO&P account: $136,297,473
Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008. On June 30, 2008, the President
signed H.R. 2642, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 (P.L. 110-252).
Congress provided additional funding for both the CIO and CIPA accounts for both
FY2008 and for FY2009 in this Act. Under the Department of State and Foreign
Operations, in Supplemental Appropriations for FY2008, Congress appropriated
$66,000,000 for the CIO account, to be available through September 30, 2009. This
is for U.S. contributions to UNAMA (Afghanistan) and UNAMI (Iraq) and to meet
FY2008 assessed payments to “organizations whose missions are critical to
protecting United States national security interests, including the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Organization
for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”14 Congress directed the Department of
State to provide a report to the Appropriations Committees, not later than 45 days
after enactment, “detailing total United States-assessed contributions, any arrears for
fiscal years 2008 and 2009 for each of the organizations funded under this heading.”
Under this section of the Act, Congress appropriated $373,708,000 for the CIPA
account, not less than $333,600,000 of which was for U.S. assessed contributions for
UNAMID. The remaining $40,108,000 was to “meet unmet fiscal year 2008
assessed dues for the international peacekeeping missions to countries such as the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, Liberia, and Sudan.”15
Under the Department of State and Foreign Operations, a second subchapter was
entitled Bridge Fund Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2009. Congress
provided $75,000,000 for the CIO account, to be available October 1, 2008, through
12 P.L. 110-329.
13 According to OMB Bulletin No. 08-02, dated September 30, 2008, the percentage of the
year covered by the CR is 43.01 percent.
14 Congressional Record [daily edition], June 19, 2008: H5676.
15 Congressional Record [daily edition], June 19, 2008: H5676.
September 30, 2009. Congress provided $150,500,000 for the CIPA account, to be
available during the same time period.
Status. On December 26, 2007, the President signed H.R. 2764, the
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, Division J of which was the Department of
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008 (P.L.
110-161). This Division provided funding for U.S. assessed and voluntary
contributions to the United Nations system. Funding for U.S. assessed contributions
to international organizations, including the United Nations, totaled $1,354,400,00016
[$1,343,429,000]. Funding for U.S. contributions to the assessed accounts of U.N.
peacekeeping operations was $1,700,500,000 [$1,690,517,000]. Congress provided
$313,485,000 [$316,897,000] in funds for U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N.
Assessed Contributions. On February 5, 2007, the President requested
$1,354,400,000 for payment of U.S. assessed contributions (CIO account) to the 45
international (including regional) intergovernmental organizations that the United
States is a member of. The CIO account request included the following amounts for
the United Nations: the U.N. regular budget, $495,778,000; U.N. Capital Master Plan
(CMP), $85,435,000; U.N. War Crimes Tribunal — Yugoslavia, $19,128,000; and
the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal — Rwanda, $15,647,000 (aggregated total:17
$615,988,000). The amount requested for U.S. assessed contributions to 11 other
separate U.N. agencies was $449,439,000. The President also requested an
“additional FY2008 funding” for the CIO account in the amount of $53 million. This
would fund U.S. contributions for the costs in CY2007 of the U.N. Assistance
Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq
(UNAMI), both of which are special political missions financed from the U.N.
On June 18, 2007, the House Appropriations Committee reported H.R. 2764,
the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations18
Act, 2008. The committee recommended $1,354,400,000 for the CIO account. The
committee did not include $53 million of the funds requested for the U.N. regular
budget, stating that this had been provided as part of the FY2008 [sic] emergency
funding, for costs for the U.N. assistance missions in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and in
Iraq (UNAMI). The House committee recommendation in the CIO account for U.S.
16 An across-the-board rescission of 0.81 percent reduced the amount available. The figure
within brackets represents the amount estimated to be available following application of the
rescission. These figures are taken from the Joint Explanatory Statement on H.R. 2764,
Division J, found at [http://www.rules.house.gov/110_fy08_omni.htm], click on Division
J under Joint Explanatory Statement.
17 The assessment for the CMP includes Year 1 of five equal payments of $75,500,000 each
and a one-time payment of $9.9 million for a working reserve fund. See Section on the
United Nations Capital Master Plan.
18 H.Rept. 110-197.
assessed contributions to the U.N. regular budget was $442,778,000. The House
passed H.R. 2764, at the committee-recommended level, on June 22, 2007.
On July 10, 2007, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended, in H.R.
2764, $1,374,400,000 for the CIO account and directed the Secretary of State “to
request sufficient funds to pay annual U.S. assessed dues and any accumulated
arrears to international organizations and encourages the Department of State to
evaluate the benefit of U.S. membership on an annual basis.”19 On September
6,2007, the Senate passed H.R. 2764 with the committee-recommended amount for
the CIO account, to be available through September 30, 2009.
On December 19, 2007, Congress sent to the President H.R. 2764, the
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, which included, in Division J, the
Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Appropriations Act, 2008.
The President signed this Act on December 26, 2007 (P.L. 110-161), which provided
$1,354,400,000 [$1,343,429,000] for the CIO account, as requested.
Voluntary Contributions. For FY2008, the President requested
$289,400,000 for the International Organizations and Programs Account (IO&P), to
fund U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. system programs and those of other
organizations. This request included $123 million for UNICEF and $75,300,000 for
the U.N. Development Program (UNDP). He also requested, through the
Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs
(Nonproliferation) account of the Department of State, Foreign Operations and
Related Programs appropriations, $50 million for special programs of the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
On June 28, 2007, the House Appropriations Committee, in H.R. 2764,
recommended $333,400,000 for the IO&P account, including not less than $128
million for UNICEF and not less than $110 million for UNDP. The committee did
not recommend the funds requested for the U.N. Democracy Fund or for the U.N.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. The committee recommended the
requested $50 million in the Nonproliferation account for IAEA voluntary
contributions. These committee-recommended levels were passed by the House on
June 22, 2007.
On July 10, 2007, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended
$313,925,000 for the IO&P account, including $129 million for UNICEF and $100
million for UNDP. The committee dropped the requested $14 million for the U.N.
Democracy Fund and $10 million for the U.N. Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Initiative. The Senate committee recommended $53 million for IAEA Voluntary
Contributions in the Nonproliferation account. In Section 667 (Transparency and
Accountability) of H.R. 2764, the Senate committee stipulated that before initial
obligation of funds for U.S. contributions to the U.N. Development Program
(UNDP), the Secretary of State certify that UNDP is “giving adequate and
appropriate access to information” to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations
“regarding UNDP’s programs and activities, as requested, including in North Korea
19 S.Rept. 110-128, p. 19.
and in Burma.” The Secretary was also to certify that UNDP was conducting
“appropriate oversight” of its programs and activities globally.20 The Senate-passed
bill provided the committee-recommended amount for the IO&P account and for the
Division J of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related
Programs Act, 2008, provided $319,485,000 [$316,897,000] for the IO&P account.
The President had requested $289,400,000 for this account. While the law provides
a single figure, the Joint Explanatory Statement includes data on allocation of these
funds, including $129,000,000 for UNICEF, $98,160,000 for UNDP, and
$10,500,000 for the UNEP. These allocations, however, may not be firm because
they are based on the IO&P account figure prior to application of the across-the-
Section 668 of the enacted bill, entitled Transparency and Accountability,
provides that 10% of the funds appropriated under the IO&P account to any U.N.
agency may be withheld from disbursement if the Secretary of State reports
that such agency does not have or is not implementing a policy of posting on a
publicly available website information such as: (1) audits, budget reports, and
information related to procurement activities; (2) procedures for protecting
whistleblowers; and (3) efforts to ensure the independence of internal oversight
bodies, adopt international public sector accounting standards, and limit
Section 668 (b) provides that 20% of the funds appropriated under the IO&P account
for a U.S. contribution to the UNDP “shall be withheld from disbursement until the
Secretary of State reports” that UNDP is —
(1) giving adequate access to information to the Department of State regarding
UNDP’s programs and activities as requested, including in North Korea and
(2) conducting oversight of UNDP programs and activities globally; and
(3)implementing a whistleblower protection policy equivalent to that
recommended by the United Nations Secretary General on December 3, 2007.
Congress provided $487,000,000 [$483,055,000] for the Nonproliferation, Anti-
terrorism, Demining and Related Programs account, including for the U.S. voluntary
contribution to the IAEA. The Joint Explanatory Statement allocated $51,500,000
to IAEA. That figure may be subject to the across-the-board rescission. The
President had requested $50,000,000 for the IAEA.
Peacekeeping Accounts. On February 5, 2007, the President requested, in
his FY2008 budget request, $1,107,000,000 to pay U.S. assessed contributions to
U.N. peacekeeping operations, in the State Department’s Contributions to
International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account. This request included
$34,181,000 for the two international war crimes tribunals (Yugoslavia and Rwanda)
that are not peacekeeping operations. The House Appropriations Committee, on June
20 H.R. 2764, as reported by Senate Appropriations Committee, p. 367.
18, 2007, recommended $1,302,000,000 for the CIPA account and included language
increasing the peacekeeping assessment cap to $27.1% for calendar year 2008. The
House, on June 22, 2007, passed H.R. 2764, with the committee-recommended
amount for the CIPA account, and with the increased peacekeeping assessment cap
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended an appropriation of
$1,352,000,000 for the CIPA account. The committee report observed that the CIPA
request “was unrealistic considering the significant contribution to peace and stability
provided by U.N. peacekeeping activities, without the participation of U.S. troops....
The Committee does not support the administration’s practice of under-funding
peacekeeping activities and relying on limited supplemental funds.” The committee
included language raising the peacekeeping assessments cap from 25% to 27.1% for
“fiscal year 2008.” 21 The Senate, on September 6, 2007, provided the amount
recommended for the CIPA account and kept the language on the peacekeeping
On October 22, 2007, the President requested in a FY2008 supplemental an
additional $723,600,000 for the CIPA account to remain available until September
30, 2009. This amount, designated as “emergency requirements,” would fund the
U.S. share of the start-up, infrastructure, and operating costs of the new U.N.
peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID). This request brought the total amount
requested by the President for the CIPA account for FY2008 to $1,830,600,000.
Division J of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, provided $1,700,500,000
[$1,690,517,000] for CIPA, $468,000,000 of which was designated emergency.22
FY2007 Emergency Supplemental. The President also requested FY2007
supplemental funding for CIPA. The CIPA supplemental request of $200 million
was to pay U.S. assessed contributions for “unforeseen” U.N. peacekeeping
expenses. The President, on May 1, 2007, vetoed H.R. 1591, Making Emergency
Supplemental Appropriations for FY2007, which had included $288 million for the
CIPA account. Congress then passed H.R. 2206, a replacement FY2007 emergency
supplemental bill, which the President signed on May 25, 2007, as the U.S. Troop
Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability23
Appropriations Act, 2007. H.R. 1591 had included funds in the CIO account
(originally in the Senate-passed bill [$59 million] but not in the House-passed
version) for payment of U.S. arrears to the assessed budgets of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization, the IAEA, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons, International Civil Aviation Organization, World Health Organization,
Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Pan American Health Organization. The
conferees had agreed to $50 million. H.R. 2206 provided $50 million for the CIO
account and $288 million for the CIPA account.
21 S.Rept. 110-128, p. 19-20.
22 P.L. 110-161.
23 P.L. 110-28.
Assessed Contributions. On February 6, 2006, the President requested
$1,268,523,000 for payment of U.S. assessed contributions to international
organizations (CIO account) of which $922,970,000 was for assessed U.N. system
organizations including $422,761,000 for the U.N. regular budget. In addition, the
President requested $1,135,327,000 to pay U.S. assessed contributions to U.N.
peacekeeping activities (CIPA account). On June 29, 2006, the House passed H.R.
$1,151,318,000 for the CIO account. On July 10, 2006, the Senate Appropriations
Committee reported H.R. 5522, to provide appropriations for the State Department,25
including $1,151,318,000 for the CIO account. The Senate did not act on this bill
in the 109th Congress.
Voluntary Contributions. The appropriate level of funding for U.N.
voluntary programs continues to be a congressional concern. For FY2007 the
Administration requested $289 million for U.S. voluntary contributions to programs
in the international organizations and programs (IO&P) account. In addition, $50
million was requested in another account for IAEA voluntary programs. On June 9,
providing $327,570,000 for the IO&P account.26 The Committee recommended the
requested $50 million for IAEA voluntary programs, which is found in the
Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining and Related Programs account. On July
10, 2006, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported H.R. 5522, providing
$306,125,000 for the IO&P account. No further action was taken on H.R. 5522 inth
the 109 Congress.
Peacekeeping Accounts. Issues relating to U.S. support for U.N.
peacekeeping operations including financing of such activities have been the source
of particular congressional concern. In 1994, Congress enacted legislation (Section
404 of P.L. 103-236) which limited U.S. assessed peacekeeping contributions after
October 1, 1995, to 25% of total U.N. peacekeeping assessments. P.L. 107-228
amended this provision for calendar years 2001-2004, allowing U.S. assessments of
28.15% in 2001, 27.9% in 2002 and 27.4% in 2003 and 2004. P.L. 108-447 raised
the cap to 27.1% for calendar year 2005. On December 13, 2005, Senator Biden
introduced S. 2095, to raise the U.S. peacekeeping cap to 27.1% for calendar years
2005 and 2006. On June 22, 2006, the Senate passed S. 2766, the Defense
Authorization Act for FY2007, including an amendment that would set the cap for
U.S. contributions at 27.10% for assessments made for U.N. peacekeeping operations
for CY2005, 2006, and 2007. On October 5, 2006, the John Warner National
24 H.R. 5672, Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill,
Fiscal Year 2007; reported June 22, 2006, H.Rept. 109-520.
25 H.R. 5522, Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
Appropriations Bill, 2007; reported July 10, 2006, S.Rept. 109-277.
26 H.R. 5522, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations
Bill, 2007; reported June 5, 2006, H.Rept. 109-486.
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122) was presented to the
President, without the peacekeeping cap provision.27
On February 6, 2006, the Administration requested $1,135,327,000 for U.S.
assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping activities (CIPA account). On February
16, 2006, President Bush, in a FY2006 supplemental, requested an additional $69.8
million for CIPA, including funds for U.N. peacekeeping in the Sudan. On June 15,
2006, H.R. 4939, providing $129.8 million for CIPA, was sent to the President, who
signed it the same day.28 On June 29, 2006, the House passed H.R. 5672, including
in State Department appropriations for 2007, the requested amount for the CIPA
account. On July 10, 2006, the Senate Appropriations Committee, in H.R. 5522,
reported appropriations for the State Department that included the same requested
amount for the CIPA account.
On February 15, 2007, Congress sent the President H.J.Res. 20, the Revised
Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2007, to fund the FY2007 budget through
September 30, 2007, which he signed on the same day, P.L. 110-5. For FY2007,
Congress provided $1,151,300,000 for the CIO account, $1,135,275,000 for the
CIPA account, and $326,200,000 for the IO&P account.
Assessed Contributions. On February 7, 2005, the Administration
requested $1.296 billion for U.S. assessed Contributions to International
Organizations (CIO) of which $931,362,000 was for assessed U.N. system
organizations including $438,952,000 for the U.N. regular budget. The President
requested $1.035 billion for U.S. assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping
activities (CIPA). Another $780 million was requested for U.N. peacekeeping
operations in supplemental FY2005 appropriations.
On June 16, 2005, the House, by a vote of 417 to 7, passed H.R. 2862, which
would appropriate $1.166 billion for U.S. assessed contributions to CIO. This was
more than $130 million below the Administration request. In addition, by a voice
vote, the House agreed to an amendment offered by Representative Garrett which
increased funding for state and law enforcement grants by $22 million that was made
available by reducing U.S. contributions to the United Nations by that amount. An
amendment offered by Representative Paul prohibiting any U.S. contribution to the
United Nations or any affiliated agency was defeated by a vote of 65 to 357.
H.R. 3057, as passed by the Senate on July 20, 2005, included $1.166 billion for
U.S. assessed CIO (more than $130 million below the Administration’s request), and
27 For detailed discussion, see CRS Report RL33700, United Nations Peacekeeping: Issues
for Congress, by Marjorie Ann Browne.
28 H.R. 4939, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War
on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006; signed June 15, 2006, P.L. 109-234.
29 See CRS Report RL32919, Foreign Operations (House)/State, Foreign Operations, and
Related Programs (Senate): FY2006 Appropriations.
$1.035 billion for assessed peacekeeping activities.30 The Senate also agreed to an
amendment expressing the sense of the Senate that the use of funds for any loan to
the United Nations for the renovation of its headquarters in New York not exceed
$600 million. The Senate Committee on Appropriations requested a number of State
Department reports during its consideration of the legislation: information on
assessment rates and other economic data on the 15 U.N. member countries with the
greatest gross domestic products; an evaluation of U.S. participation in non-treaty
obligated international organizations; and information on changes in the World
Tourism Organization (WTO) since U.S. withdrawal and potential benefits of any
future U.S. participation in the WTO.31
On March 10, 2005, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations reported S.
600, authorizing appropriations for foreign relations for FY2006 and FY2007
(S.Rept. 109-35). This bill authorized $1.296 billion for U.S. assessed contributions
to international organizations (CIO), and $1.035 billion for U.S. assessed
contributions to U.N. peacekeeping activities (CIPA) account. On June 9, 2005, the
House Committee on International Relations voted to report H.R. 2601, to authorize
appropriations for the Department of State for FY2006 and 2007 (H.Rept. 109-168).
The House passed H.R. 2601 on July 20, 2005. The Hyde United Nations Reform
bill, H.R. 2745, had been added to H.R. 2601 on July 19, 2005, prior to its passage.
Congress did not complete action on a Foreign Relations Authorization Act for
H.R. 2862, appropriating funds for Science, the Departments of State, Justice,
and Commerce for FY2006, was signed on November 22, 2005 (P.L. 109-108). It
included $1.166 billion for assessed contributions to international organizations
(CIO), and $1,035,500,000 for assessed contributions to international peacekeeping
activities (CIPA). The Secretary of State, at the time of the President’s budget
submission to Congress, is to transmit to the Appropriations Committees the most
recent biennial U.N. budget and notify the same committees of any U.N. action to
increase funding for any U.N. program without identifying an offsetting decrease
elsewhere in the U.N. budget and cause the U.N. budget for the 2006-2007 biennium
to exceed the revised U.N. budget level for the 2004-2005 biennium.
Voluntary Contributions. On February 7, 2005, the Administration
requested $281,908,000 for voluntary contributions for the International
Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account including $114 million for UNICEF
and $95 million for UNDP. Fifty million dollars for IAEA voluntary programs was
requested in another account.
30 H.R. 3057 was passed by the House as the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act but the
Senate used this bill, H.R. 3057, as its vehicle for appropriating funds for Foreign
Operations and for the State Department.
31 In this instance, the WTO is the World Tourism Organization, not the World Trade
Organization. On December 1, 2005, the General Assembly of the World Tourism
Organization changed the acronym of the organization in English and Russian to UNWTO.
On June 28, 2005, the House passed H.R. 3057, including $328,958,000 for
voluntary contributions for FY2006 for the IO&P account as had been recommended
by the House Committee on Appropriations in its report, H.Rept. 109-152. The
Committee also recommended that of the amounts appropriated in the account, not
less than $110 million be for the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), not less than
$127 million for the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), $5 million for the U.N.
Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) (of which $3.5 million for the Fund and
$1.5 million for the Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence Against
Women), and noted the importance of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) work
in the Palestinian territories.
H.R. 3057, as passed by the Senate on July 20, 2005, included a total of $330
million for FY2006 for U.S. voluntary contributions to programs in the International
Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account as had been recommended by the
Senate Committee on Appropriations in its report, S.Rept. 109-96. The Committee
also recommended that of the amounts appropriated in the account, $128 million be
for UNICEF, and $110 million for UNDP. The Committee recommended $10
million for the proposed U.N. Democracy Fund in another account, and
recommended that $10 million for the World Food Program (WFP) come from funds
for USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance.
On March 10, 2005, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reported on S. 600
(S.Rept. 109-35), authorizing $281,908,000 for voluntary contributions for the
International Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account. An authorization bill was
The Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act for FY2006,
H.R. 3057, signed November 4, 2005, P.L. 109-102, included $329,458,000 for U.S.
voluntary contributions to the International Organizations and Programs (IO&P)
account. The conference report (H.Rept. 109-265) recommended that $127 million
be for UNICEF and $110 million for UNDP; $50 million was recommended from
another account for IAEA voluntary programs.
U.N. Peacekeeping Accounts. The Administration requested
$1,035,500,000 for FY2006 for U.S. assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping
activities (CIPA). P.L. 109-108 included the requested $1,035,500,000 for FY2006
U.S. assessed peacekeeping activities.
Tables on U.S. Contributions: FY2004-FY2008 and
Table 1. U.S. Contributions to Recent U.N. System Assessed
(in millions of $)
F Y 2004 F Y 2005 F Y 2006 F Y 2007 F Y 2008 F Y 2009
Ac t u al Ac t u al Ac t u al Ac t u al Estimate Request
United Nations (U.N.)340.472362.193438.909422.699495.704452.560
U.N. Capital Master
Plan (UN/CMP) — 6.009.82522.11085.43575.535
U.N. — War Crimes
T r ibunals 32.656 35.039 31.606 32.556 35.303 36.538
Food and Agriculture
Energy Agency (IAEA)68.46279.82979.09284.75396.476101.784
(ICAO) 12.629 12.650 14.894 15.149 16.872 18.530
Organization (IMO)1.3661. 4791.5711.6301.5741.641
Union (ITU)7. 9767.6557.7468.0838.4578.428
Universal Postal Union
(UPU) 1.697 1.770 1.710 1.736 1.815 1.862
(WIPO) 1.058 1.137 1.086 .944 1.010 1.006
Total 794.542 845.598 910.306 936.921 1,104.516 1,087.090
Table 2. U.S. Voluntary Contributions to U.N. Programs
Financed Through the Foreign Assistance Act
(International Organizations and Programs)
(in millions of $)
F Y 2004Ac t u al F Y 2005Ac t u al F Y 2006Ac t u al F Y 2007Ac t u al F Y 2008Estimate F Y 2009Request
U.N. Children’s Fund119.292124.000125.730125.730127.955124.500
U.N. Development Fund0.9941.9843.2183.2183.2180.950
for Women (UNIFEM)
UNIFEM Trust Fund — 0.9921.4851.4851.785 —
Scientific, Educational, &
WMO Voluntary Coop.1.9881.9841.8811.8811.8851.900
(includes CITES, ITTO,6.3626.3495.8905.8906.4475.900
Ramsar, U.N. Forum on
U.N. [Voluntary] Fund5.4686.9446.5176.5176.9435.006
for Victims of Torture
Climate Change Fund for5.5675.9525.9405.9405.4555.320
IPCC and UNFCC
ICAO Aviation Security0.9940.9920.9410.9410.9470.950
U.N. Voluntary Funds for
Technical Cooperation in1.4911. 4881.4851.4851.4141.400
the Field of Human
U.N. High — — — — 6.943 —
IAEA Voluntarya52.68752. 57649.50053.30051.08350.000
U.N. Center for Human
Settlements (UN-0.7460.149 0.1490.1490.9921.000
IMO Maritime Security — 0. 0990.3960.3960.3970.400
F Y 2004Ac t u al F Y 2005Ac t u al F Y 2006Ac t u al F Y 2007Ac t u al F Y 2008Estimate F Y 2009Request
(UNIDF) — [10.000] 10.000 — — 14.000
now U.N. Democracy
U.N. Office of the
Coordinator for — — 0.8050.8052.9762.000
Total 355.540 344.714 367.546 349.071 346.058 318.150
Note: Does not include U.S. contributions to U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Programs ($255 million in FY2002) and to U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in
the Near East (UNRWA) ($119 million in FY2002), both financed through the Migration and Refugee
Assistance Account; World Food Program commodities donations; WHO Special Programs; U.N.
Volunteers; and U.N. International Drug Control Program.
a. Requested and Appropriated under Non-Proliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related
b. Funded from other accounts in FY2005 and FY2006.
Other Basic Information
Scale of Assessments
Article 17 of the U.N. Charter requires each U.N. member state, including the
United States, to contribute to the expenses of the organization, as assessed by the
General Assembly.32 The U.N. General Assembly has adopted a scale of assessments
— which is based generally on a country’s capacity to pay — that requires the
United States to pay the maximum or 22% of the U.N. regular budget, while 53
members pay the minimum or 0.001%. If there were no maximum and minimum
assessment levels for the U.N. regular budget and assessments were based
exclusively on a ratio of a country’s gross national product, the United States would
be assessed about 30% and some very small and poor countries might be assessed
less than 0.001%.
Regardless of the size of assessment, each member has one vote on U.N. budget
decisions, although budgets since 1988 have been adopted by consensus.33 Some
experts have maintained that the General Assembly budget decision process, by one
32 The United Nations Charter was ratified by the United States August 8, 1945 and entered
into force October 24, 1945. There are currently 192 members of the United Nations.
33 Article 18 of the U.N. Charter: “Each member of the General Assembly shall have one
vote.” Paragraph 2 of this article states that “Decisions of the General Assembly on
important questions shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present and
voting. These questions shall include ... budgetary questions.”
nation, one vote, that commits a few member states to pay a major percentage of that
budget, is unfair and that other principles should replace one nation, one vote on
budget issues.34 When this issue came up between 1985 and 1988, the Assembly
decided that every effort would be made to adopt the U.N. regular budget by
consensus. In this way, any member state, including the major contributors, might
prevent consensus on a budget resolution. The intention was to give major
contributing nations a stronger voice in budget matters.
On April 28, 2006, however, this practice of consensus on U.N. budget matters
was broken when the Fifth Committee (on administrative and budgetary matters)
voted, 108 in favor, to 50 (including the United States) against, with 3 abstentions,
on a resolution that would define how Secretary-General Annan would carry out the
23 proposals he had presented in his report, Investing in the United Nations: for a
stronger organization worldwide. The resolution was sponsored by the Group of 77
and China. This vote in the Fifth Committee was followed, on May 8, 2006, by a
vote in plenary on the same resolution.35
In December 2007, during General Assembly consideration of the 2008-2009
U.N. regular budget, the United States voted against a related resolution —
A/RES/62/236, Questions relating to the proposed programme budget for the
biennium 2008-2009, but joined the consensus on the resolution that approved a
biennial budget of $4.17 billion.36 U.S. representatives characterized the budget
resolution as an initial budget, with items to be added to the original budget later in
the 62nd session. The United States was particularly concerned over the “piece meal”
and “ad hoc” approach.37
On December 11, 2007, when U.S. Ambassador Mark Wallace addressed the
General Assembly’s Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on the status
of the 2008-2009 budget, he made the following observations:
The Secretary-General has proposed an “initial” budget of $4.19 billion for the
biennium 2008/2009. As we all know, this $4.19 billion proposal represents only
a part of the actual budget. In addition the Secretary-General simultaneously but
separately identified various “add ons” to the base budget that would bring the
actual 2008/2009 budget up to approximately $4.8 billion. The 2006/2007
approved budget was $3.799 billion though it ultimately totaled $4.17 billion.
The 2008/2009 projected budget of $4.8 billion represents a 15% increase over
the 2006/2007 budget.
34 Some have suggested weighted voting in the Assembly, based on population or other
35 The vote in plenary was 121 in favor, to 50 (including the United States) against, with 2
36 A/RES/62/237. Programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009. The Fifth Committee
acted on both draft resolutions on December 21, 2007; they were adopted in a plenary
meeting of the General Assembly on December 22, 2007. See also, U.S. Department of
State. Voting Practices in the United Nations, 2007, pages 138 and 154-155.
37 Wallace, Mark. Explanation of vote, December 22, 2007, in the Fifth Committee. U.S.
Mission to the United Nations (USUN) Press Release #387 (07).
The proposed regular budget with just the “add ons” already identified by the
Secretary-General makes this budget the largest regular budget in the history of
the U.N. This budget also represents the largest increase in the history of the
U.N. on a dollar basis. Moreover, even this $4.8 billion figure is not what any of
us expect as the final budget because it does not take into account additional
proposals that have more recently been identified or which we can expect during
the course of the biennium.
We expect that the final actual total budget of the 2008/2009 biennium to be in
excess of approximately $5.2 billion. Accordingly, such a final budget is likely
to represent an increase of 25% or more from the 2006/2007 budget. And lets
remember what such an increase actually funds. As my colleagues from the G77
and China rightly point out in paragraph 30 of the Draft Resolution before us:
“approximately 75 percent of the budget resources are related to salaries and
common staff cost….” The budget increase does not go directly to humanitarian
or development aid but rather to increasing the size of the UN Secretariat
We all agree that the piecemeal, ad hoc approach of the current budget is
inconsistent with sound budgeting practices. See paragraphs 9, and 35 of the
Draft Resolution on the 2008/2009 biennium budget. Moreover, we are
concerned that no substantial cuts or offsets have been proposed by the38
Secretary-General or member states to this largest of all U.N. budget increases.
For calendar year 2008, the top three contributors (United States, Japan, and
Germany) were assessed a total of 47.201% of the U.N. regular budget. The top 10
contributors, which include four of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security
Council, pay 76.092% of the total U.N. regular budget according to the scale of
assessments adopted in December 2006 by the General Assembly for CY2007-2009.
Table 3. Top 10 U.N. Regular Budget Contributors for 2008
Percentage ofAssessments for 2008
Member StateBudgetin U.S. $
Japan 16.624 342,558,973
Germany 8 .577 176,740,154
Francea 6.301 129,840,236
Italy 5 .079 104,659,349
Canada 2.977 61,344,927
Sp ain 2 .968 61,159,470
China a 2.667 54,956,977
Mexico 2.257 46,508,398
a. Permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
38 Statement by Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, U.S. Representative for U.N. Management
and Reform, on the 2008/2009 U.N. Budget, in the Fifth Committee of the General
Assembly, December 11, 2007. See enclosed materials.
For 2008, the other permanent member of the Security Council, the Russian
Federation, was assessed at 1.20%, or $24,727,549.39
In 2006, then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton suggested
that the U.N. General Assembly consider the use of different economic data, in
forming the scale of assessments. Ambassador Bolton proposed that the scale of
assessments be based on
purchasing power parity (PPP) in our calculation of gross national income. PPP
is the numbers of units of a country’s currency needed to buy in the country the
same amounts of goods and services in a different country. At this time, the
assessment is based on Gross National Income (GNI) as determined by Gross
Domestic Product. ... The World Bank currently uses PPPs as an analytical tool,40
but not for income comparisons.
In its July 10, 2006 report, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended “that
the current rate of assessment should not be increased, and that the United Nations
consider economic factors such as purchasing power parity and foreign currency
rates.”41 The House Appropriations Committee, noting that China’s “U.N.
assessment rate” was low relative to its “real GDP growth,” directed the State
Department to report “as to whether the current assessment formula should be42
The U.N. Committee on Contributions is a standing committee of 18 members
selected by the Assembly on the basis of broad geographical representation, personal
qualifications and experience. This Committee advises the Assembly on the scale
of assessments, recommending assessment levels for new member states, reviewing
appeals for a change of assessment, and examining applications of Article 19 against
countries in arrears on payment of their assessed contributions. Each third year, the
Committee reviews the scale and, based on instructions from the Assembly,
recommends revisions in the scale for the next three-year period. The Committee
met June 5 to 30, 2006, to carry out this review and to recommend a scale for the
period 2007-2009.43 A U.S. national is a member of this committee.
On December 22, 2006, the U.N. General Assembly, without a vote, approved44
a new scale of assessments for the period 2007-2009. The U.S. assessment
remained at 22%, while other assessment levels were changed. The level for Japan
39 See Assessment of Member States’ Advances to the Working Capital Fund for the
biennium 2008-2009 and Contributions to the United Nations Regular Budget for 2008.
U.N. document, ST/ADM/SER.B/719, pages 8-13.
40 Statement to House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice
and Commerce, April 5, 2006, p. 3, at [http://www.state.gov/p/io/rls/rm/64140.htm].
41 S.Rept. 109-277, p. 33.
42 H.Rept. 109-520, p. 121.
43 Its report, issued on August 4, 2006, did not recommend a scale for 2007-2009 (see U.N.
was set at 16.624%, down from 19.468% in 2006; the level for China was increased
from 2.053% to 2.667% for 2007. In all, the assessment levels for 78 U.N. member
states were increased, while the assessment levels for 51 U.N. member states were
reduced. The assessment levels for 62 states, including the United States, remained
Specialized agencies, while linked to the United Nations, are autonomous
organizations, with their own executive, legislative, and budgetary powers. Some
agencies follow the U.N. scale in making assessments; other agencies use their own
formulas, which often result in lower U.S. assessments. The U.S. assessment levels
for these agencies for CY2005, CY2006, CY2007, and CY2008 are as follows:45
Table 4. U.S. Assessment Levels:
U.N. Specialized Agencies and IAEA
International Labor Organization22 %22 %22 %22 %
Food and Agriculture Organization of22 %22 %22 %22 %
the United Nations (FAO)
U.N. Educational, Scientific, and22 %22 %22 %22 %
Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
International Civil Aviation25 %25 %25 %25 %
World Health Organization (WHO)22 %22 %22 %22 %
Universal Postal Union (UPU)5.69 %5.69 %5.69 %5.87 %
International Telecommunication8.88 %8.759 %8.809 %8.759 %
World Meteorological Organization21.64 %21.64 %21.64 %21.64 %
International Maritime Organization3.48 %3.44 %3.4 %3.24 %
World Intellectual Property6.6 %6.59 %6.608 %6.608 %
International Atomic Energy Agency25.88 %25.95 %25.95 %25.72 %
45 The CY2005 percentages are from the U.N. System Chief Executives Board for
Coordination, Budgetary and Financial Situation of Organizations of the United Nations
System. Note by the Secretary-General.... , U.N. document, A/59/315. The CY2006 and
CY2007 figures are from information transmitted to Congress by the Department of State
in the Congressional Budget Justification, for FY2007, FY2008, and FY2009.
Under Article 19 of the U.N. Charter, countries with arrears totaling more than
the member’s assessments for the two preceding years lose their vote in the U.N.
General Assembly. As of October 13, 2008, seven countries were in that status.46
On October 13, 2008, however, the U.N. General Assembly decided that the seven
countries would be permitted to vote in the Assembly until the end of its 63rd session,
in September 2009.47
According to the United Nations, despite U.S. arrears payments, the United
States, as of December 31, 2007, owed assessed contributions of $1,557,414,338.
These arrearages broke out in the following way:
$392,873,605 for the U.N. regular budget;
$16,172,281 for International Tribunals;
$64,204,580 for the Capital Master Plan; and 48
$1,084,163,872 for peacekeeping assessed accounts.
Funding the U.N. War Crimes Tribunals
The U.N. Security Council has created two war crimes tribunals to investigate
and prosecute those accused of serious crimes against humanity under specified
circumstances. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Republic of
Yugoslavia (ICTY) was set up in 1993 to investigate and prosecute those accused of
genocide, crimes against humanity, or violations of international humanitarian law
on the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991. The International Criminal
Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was created in November 1994 to investigate and
prosecute persons accused of genocide and other serious violations of international
humanitarian law in the territory of Rwanda between January 1 and December 31,
1994, and also Rwandan citizens suspected of such acts or violations in the territory
of neighboring states. Each tribunal is under the Council requirement and timetable
to complete its work by December 31, 2010.
The General Assembly decided that each tribunal would be financed through a
special assessed account and that U.N. member states would be assessed to contribute
to those accounts in a unique way. Half of the annual budget of each would be paid
on the basis of the scale of assessments used for contributions to the U.N. regular
budget, and half of each account would be funded on the basis of the scale of
46 See U.N. documents A/63/350 and General Assembly Resolution 63/4. See also at
[http://www.un.org/ ga /art19.shtml ].
47 In 1999, the United States “narrowly avoided” losing its vote in the U.N. General
Assembly. Enactment of the Helms-Biden agreement in late 1999 enabled the United States
to pay nearly all of its 1999 regular budget assessment before the end of the year and some
of its previous arrearages (see Department of State. United States Participation in the
United Nations for 1999, pp. 99-100, at [http://www.state.gov/p/io/rls/rpt/1999/c5700.htm
in] part 7.
48 These figures are taken from a release issued by the Office of the Spokesperson of the
assessments used for contributions to U.N. peacekeeping operation accounts. For the
United States, this means that half of its contribution to each tribunal’s account is
based on 22%, its regular budget assessment rate, and half is based on 26.08%, its
peacekeeping account assessment rate in 2007. Thus, the U.S. contribution for each
tribunal is funded from the Contributions to International Organizations account and
from the Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities account.
The United Nations Capital Master Plan
On December 22, 2006, the U.N. General Assembly unanimously approved a
budget of $1.88 billion ($1,876.7 million) for the U.N. Capital Master Plan (CMP)
to be completed during the period 2006 to 2014. The financing plan approved in the
same resolution (A/RES/61/251) was based on a mix of one-time and five equal
multiyear assessments, using the regular budget assessment scale for 2007 for all
multiyear assessments. This action by the Assembly marked the end of six years of
discussion, debate, study, reports, and negotiations on both a strategy for renovating
the 50 year-old U.N. headquarters complex and a plan for financing that project.
On December 10, 2007, the U.N. General Assembly, by consensus, approved
an accelerated strategy for the renovation of the U.N. complex, with completion
scheduled for 2013 instead of 2016. Under this plan, the entire Secretariat building
would be emptied in one phase instead of four phases. The increased cost of leasing
additional swing space would be offset by the lowered cost of the Secretariat building
renovation. The Assembly authorized the leasing of additional swing space but kept
the budget and payment schedule unchanged.
The main buildings in the United Nations headquarters complex in New York
City were constructed between 1949 and 1952.49 The Dag Hammarskjold Library
was completed in 1961. Since that time, no substantial renovation of the buildings
has occurred. An examination of conditions in the complex was made by architects,
engineers, and other consultants in 1998 and 1999. According to a 2001 report by
the then U.S. General Accounting Office (now the U.S. Government Accountability
Office), the major systems in the buildings — plumbing, electrical, and chilled and
hot water — had passed their “economic life expectancy” and the buildings no longer
met New York City and State safety, fire, and building codes.50
Initial Solution. After his initial June 2000 Capital Master Plan proposal for
the renovation of the headquarters complex, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
presented a second report to the U.N. General Assembly in August 2002. This report
served as the basis for General Assembly approval in December 2002 of a plan for
the CMP renovation (A/RES/97/292). That plan involved the renovation of the seven
buildings on the site, including the Secretariat building, General Assembly building,
Conference building, Dag Hammarskjold Library, and South Annex. The plan
49 This includes the Secretariat building, the General Assembly building, and the Conference
50 U.S. Comptroller General, United Nations: Planning for Headquarters Renovation is
Reasonable; United States Needs to Decide Whether to Support Work, June 2001, GAO-01-
envisioned construction of a “swing space” building located close to the
headquarters complex to provide space for all of the staff in the Secretariat building
and for meetings. The swing space building cost was not included in the CMP
financing. It would be built and financed by the United Nations Development
Corporation, a separate public benefit corporation set up by New York State in 1968
to develop offices and other facilities for U.N.-related activities.51
In September 2005, direct CMP costs were estimated at $1.2 billion. The initial
financing plan called for a loan from the host government, the United States. Early
discussions had envisioned that this might be an interest-free loan, as was the $65
million loan from the United States to finance original construction of the
headquarters complex. In March 2005, the U.S. government offered to the United
Nations an interest-bearing loan of $1.2 billion to finance the Capital Master Plan and
to be provided in three installments over a period of three years. The loan would be
repaid to the United States over 30 years with interest charged at 5.54% annually.
The U.N. membership, through a General Assembly resolution, would have to
authorize the Secretary-General to sign a loan agreement. Once signed, the U.S. loan
offer would be kept on the table as an option for financing the CMP. The Assembly
did not authorize the Secretary-General to sign the loan agreement. In addition, the
New York State Legislature did not approve construction of a swing space building.
Final Approved Solutions. On July 19, 2005, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
Annan appointed Louis Frederick Reuter, IV, of the United States, to the post of
Assistant Secretary-General- Executive Director of the Capital Master Plan. On
November 17, 2005, Mr. Reuter reported to the General Assembly, recommending
a phased approach under which the Secretariat building would be renovated in four52
phases, in 10-floor increments, starting at the top. Affected staff would be relocated
to leased office space. The General Assembly building would be renovated in a
single phase, with a large temporary building constructed on the North Lawn as the
site for Assembly activities during the renovation. That North Lawn facility would
then serve as a site for conferences while the conference building was renovated in
The total cost of this approach was estimated at $1.587 billion. In examining
possible financing for the project, Mr. Reuter determined that the “most viable”
would be through a multiyear assessment of U.N. member states to a special assessed
account for the CMP. He also recommended establishment of a working operating
reserve fund at the level of 20% of anticipated annual expenditures to ensure a stable
cash flow, believed to be an essential precondition for uninterrupted financing of
project costs. This reserve fund should be set up before the construction phase of the
51 Development of this swing space building, to be located on a portion of a public park at
First Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets, required state legislative approval. The New
York State Legislature did not approve development of this “swing space” or Consolidation
52 Original plans envisioned that the Secretariat building would be entirely vacated during
53 United Nations. Secretary-General. Third Annual Progress Report on the Implementation
of the Capital Master Plan. New York, United Nations, 2005. U.N. document A/60/550.
project and total at least $45 million, financed through a separate assessment. It
would be phased out at the end of the construction phase and credited back to
While the Assembly, in May 2006, considered some aspects of the CMP, it did
not approve a new strategy and financing plan until a year after they were
recommended.55 On December 22, 2006, the Assembly, in A/RES/61/251, approved
the CMP, including scope options, to be completed from 2006-2014, at a total
revised project budget not to exceed $1,876.7 million. The Assembly apportioned,
for the period from 2007 to 2011, the amounts applicable, based on each member
states’ assessment option of either a one-time payment, based on its share of $1,716.7
million or equal multiyear payments over five years, in accordance with the regular
budget rates of assessment applicable for 2007 for all assessments for the CMP, using
the scale of assessments for the period 2007-2009.56 The Assembly also appropriated
$42 million for 2007 for the design and pre-construction phases of the capital master
plan, including swing space requirements. The Assembly approved establishment
of a working capital reserve of $45 million under the CMP account. Member states
were to make advances to the working capital reserve in accordance with the regular
budget rates of assessment applicable for 2007. Finally, the Assembly approved
establishment of a letter of credit facility, with the stipulation that any drawdown on
the letter of credit should be a last resort and solely for the purpose of funding the
Design, Planning, and Pre-construction Funding. Between 2000 and
renovation activities. In December 2002, the General Assembly in A/RES/97/292 had
created a special assessed account for the CMP. The following table from a
November 2006 GAO report provides an annual breakdown:
54 Mr. Reuter listed a number of changes that had a “serious impact on the viability” of the
original CMP strategy. These included failure of plans for the UNDC-5 building (the swing
space building); significant increases in swing space costs (commercial lease costs
continued to rise); additional costs resulting from updating the project documentation (these
included changes in building code requirements and in security and redundancy systems and
rapid inflation of construction costs); and significant changes in costing parameters
(construction inflation accelerated to 11% and tight labor and material markets). The last
change was attributed to major increases in construction activity in the City after the events
of September 11, 2001, as well as the demands for construction materials after major
55 In May 2006, CMP Executive Director Louis Frederick Reuter resigned, explaining, “I
have been frustrated by a number of factors, all working together, including the lack of clear
support by many major stakeholders and difficulties of working within UN practice as it
applies to a large building project.” U.N. News Service, May 4, 2006, at
56 This amount, $1,716.7 million, plus the $160 million in pre-renovation activities already
appropriated, totals $1,876.7 million, which was approved by the Assembly as the budget
cost for the CMP.
Table 5. U.N. Appropriations for Headquarters Renovation,
(dollars in millions)
Y e ar P urpose Am ount
2003Continued design, project management and25.5
2005Continued design, project management and17.8
2005Continued design, project management and 8.2
2006Design, preconstruction and swing space 23.5
design and fit-out of off-site library and office space
Note: Except for the $8 million appropriated in 2000 “through an allotment from the U.N. regular
budget,” all amounts were funded “through cash assessments on member states specifically for the
CMP.” See U.S. Government Accountability Office, United Nations, Renovation Planning Follows
Industry Practices, but Procurement and Oversight Could Present Challenges, Report to
Congressional Requesters, November 2006, GAO-07-31, p. 17.
U.S. Contributions to the CMP and Congress. The initial anticipated
plan for financing implementation of the CMP was to have been a $1.2 billion loan
from the United States. Congress, in 2004, appropriated a $6 million U.N. Capital
Master Plan Loan Subsidy in P.L. 108-447, signed December 8, 2004. 57 U.S.
contributions to the assessed budgets of the United Nations and other
intergovernmental organizations are financed in the Contributions to International
Organizations (CIO) account under the State Department. The language in P.L. 108-
... of which up to $6,000,000, to remain available until expended, may be used
for the cost of a direct loan to the United Nations for the cost of renovating its
headquarters in New York: Provided, That such costs, including the cost of
modifying such loan, shall be as defined in section 502 of the Congressional
Budget Act of 1974: Provided further, That these funds are available to
subsidize total loan principal of up to $1,200,000,000....
In short, Congress appropriated an amount to subsidize the cost or the “assumed
default risk” (from the State Department appropriations justification for FY2005) of
the $1.2 billion interest bearing loan, not the $1.2 billion amount of the loan.
A second category of contributions, also financed under the State Department
Appropriations Act, the CIO account, relates to the design and pre-construction
57 Division B, of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, Departments of Commerce,
Justice, and State...Appropriations Act, 2005
planning and activities for implementation of the CMP. According to State
Department budget information, the following U.S. contributions have been made
available for CMP assessments:
Table 6. U.S. Contributions to the Capital Master Plan Account
Y e ar Am ount Com m e nt s
FY2005$6,000,000 ActualLoan subsidy to cover assumed
default risk of a $1.2 billion interest
FY2006$10,595,000 Requested $9,825,000 [$5,720,000 + $4,875,000 (1st yr of
Actualinterest cost on the loan)] The loan
was not activated.
FY2008$85,435,000 RequestedWould provide for U.S. share of first
annual assessment ($75,500,000)
plus the U.S. share of a working
reserve fund ($9,900,000)
[The total U.S. assessment over the
five-year period is $377.7 million.]
FY2009$75,535,000 RequestedSecond annual payment toward
Congress also provided that funds be available for a U.S. government inter-
agency task force to examine, coordinate, and oversee U.S. participation in the U.N.
headquarters renovation project. Up to $1,000,000 was set aside for such a task
force, which had been recommended by the then General Accounting Office (GAO)58
in June 2001. The Department of State Appropriations Act, 2003, included a
provision that “funds ... may be available” for such a task force.59 This provision has
been included in each subsequent appropriations act, including in Division J of H.R.
Appropriations Act, 2008. In addition, Section 412 of the Department of State and
Related Agency Appropriations Act, 2006, includes the following language:
It is the sense of the Congress that the amount of any loan for the renovation of
the United Nations headquarters building located in New York, New York,
should not exceed $600,000,000: Provided, That if any loan exceeds
58 The $1,000,000 was included in the FY2003 request.
59 117 Stat. 86 in P.L. 108-7, February 20, 2003 (Consolidated Appropriations Resolution,
60 P.L. 110-161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008).
$600,000,000, the Secretary of State shall notify the Congress of the current cost61
of the renovation and cost containment measures.
This provision is in both the House-passed and the Senate-reported versions of the
Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Act, 2008, H.R.
2764, section 697. This provision was not in H.R. 2764, as it was passed by the
Senate and it is not in the final Act as passed by Congress and signed by the
Problems and Issues. As of January 2008, the U.N. Secretary-General has
not yet set up an advisory board that would advise him on financing matters and on62
overall project issues relating to the CMP. This board, suggested by Secretary-
General Kofi Annan in June 2000 was approved by the General Assembly in63
December 2002 as an independent and impartial advisory board. The U.N. Board
of Auditors, Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), and the Assembly’s
Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions all urged the
appointment of such an advisory board. In 2005, the U.N. Board of Auditors noted
that prominent candidates had declined to serve on the Board. The explanations
included that service on the board would require enormous knowledge of the plan
itself and an ongoing time commitment, that board members would take on an
implied liability that was seen as undesirable, that such advice would be better
obtained from working experts in the respective fields, and that those persons
prominent in the respective fields might also be potential competitors and
participation in the advisory board would make them ineligible to compete as
Also cited as problems were the lack of an executive director for the CMP for
significant periods of time and under-staffing in the CMP office. On July 2, 2007,
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Michael Adlerstein, a U.S. architect
and project director, as Executive Director of CMP. After his appointment, Mr.
Adlerstein evaluated the strategies approved by the Assembly in 2006 and
recommended an accelerated strategy and other changes that were approved by the
Assembly in 2007.
Congress and Funding the U.N. System
Congress has, over the years, sought to influence the direction of the United
Nations and U.S. policy at the United Nations and in its agencies. A variety of tools
61 119 Stat. 2327, in P.L. 109-108, November 22, 2005 (Science, State, Justice, Commerce,
and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006.
62 As of early October 2008, an advisory board had not been created. See Sixth annual
progress report on the implementation of the capital master plan; Report of the Secretary-
General. U.N. document A/63/477, p. 6. This report also provides updated information on
the status of the CMP.
64 U.N. document A/60/5 (vol. V), p. 10, para. 39. See also, A/60/550, p. 20-21.
has been used, from “sense of Congress” resolutions to restrictions placed in
authorization and appropriations legislation. Congressional committees have held
hearings to educate and to carry out their oversight functions. U.S. nominees to be
ambassadors at the United Nations or its agencies have been queried on various
aspects of U.S. policy and U.N. activity. Congress has reduced or increased
executive branch funding requests, has withheld funding of the U.S. proportionate
share that would finance particular programs or tied release of U.S. contributions to
executive branch certifications once certain policy goals had been met.
Beginning in 1980, Congress prohibited contribution of the U.S. proportionate
share for a number of U.N. programs and activities of which Congress did not
approve, including the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights, for projects benefitting the
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the South West Africa People’s
Organization (SWAPO), construction of a conference center in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, the Second Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, and for
implementation of General Assembly Resolution 3379 (XXX) (Zionism equals
racism). In addition, the Administration withheld the U.S. proportionate share of
funds for the Preparatory Commission for the Law of the Sea and funds relating to
taxes paid by U.S. citizens employed by the United Nations.
In addition, beginning in 1993, the United States recognized a lower
peacekeeping assessment level than that applied by the United Nations, and since
October 1, 1995, was limited by U.S. law (sec. 404 of P.L. 103-236) to a 25%
peacekeeping assessment level. Section 402 of P.L. 107-228, signed into law on
September 30, 2002, raised the 25% cap on U.S. peacekeeping assessments allowing
payment of U.S. current peacekeeping assessments in full. The only current U.S.
withholding for the U.N. regular budget is for programs relating to the Palestinians.
In addition, since no waiver of the 25% cap on U.S. contributions for U.N.
peacekeeping was enacted for CY2006, the United States is withholding from its
contributions for U.N. peacekeeping the difference between the U.N. assessment of
about 26.7% and the U.S. statutory limit of 25%.
On December 13, 2005, Senator Biden introduced S. 2095 which would raise
the U.S. peacekeeping assessment cap to 27.1% for calendar years 2005 and 2006.65
On June 22, 2006, the Senate passed S. 2766, the National Defense Authorization
Act for FY2007, including an amendment that would set the cap for U.S.
contributions at 27.10% for assessments made for U.N. peacekeeping operations for
CY2005, 2006, and 2007. This provision was dropped during conference
consideration of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
2007, H.R. 5122.66 Thus, at the start of the 110th Congress, the cap on funds
available for U.S. assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping accounts is 25%. On
65 “A bill to ensure payment of United States assessments for United Nations peacekeeping
operations in 2005 and 2006.”
66 U.S. Congress. House. John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
Session), p. 826. This bill was signed by the President on October 17, 2006.
January 25, 2007, Senator Biden introduced S. 392, a bill providing that for
assessments made during calendar years 2005 through 2008, U.S. funding for U.N.
peacekeeping assessments would be at 27.1%. President Bush’s FY2008 budget
request included language identical to that in S. 392.67 S. 392 was not acted on by
the Senate. H.R. 2764 was enacted with a provision recognizing 21.7 % as the cap
for payment of peacekeeping assessments made in calendar year 2008.
Contributions Reporting Requirement
On June 22, 2006, the Senate passed S. 2766, the National Defense
Authorization Act for FY2007. Section 1213 would require the President to submit
to Congress an annual report on all U.S. government contributions, both assessed and
voluntary, made during each fiscal year (FY) to the entire U.N. system. The report
would include (1) the total amount of all U.S. assessed and voluntary contributions
to the United Nations and U.N. affiliated agencies and related bodies; (2) the
approximate percentage of U.S. contributions to each U.N. affiliated agency or body
in such FY when compared with all contributions to such agency or body from any
source; and (3) for each contribution, the amount, a description of the contribution
(including whether assessed or voluntary), the department or agency responsible for
each contribution, the purpose of each contribution, and the U.N. or U.N. affiliated
agency or related body receiving such contribution. This provision was an
amendment proposed by Senator Warner for Senate Inhofe, was agreed to by
Unanimous Consent, and received little, if any, debate. This provision became law
as section 1225 of P.L. 109-364 (H.R. 5122), John Warner National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, signed by the President on October 17,
On June 28, 2006, during House consideration of H.R. 5672, the State
Department Appropriations Act, Representative Scott Garrett offered an identical
amendment. Representative Garrett pointed out that Congress cannot make decisions
on funding the United Nations without knowing the “total amount of money that we
are spending for the U.N. and its programs and its services.” After a point of order
was raised, that the amendment “constituted legislation in an appropriation bill,”
Representative Garrett withdrew his amendment.
Over the years, two or three reporting requirements have provided data on
annual U.S. contributions to international organizations; some of them still exist
while one has been terminated. An annual report on U.S. contributions to
international organizations for a fiscal year has been issued by the State Department
since the first one, which covered FY1952, was transmitted to Congress in January
section 2 which requires the Secretary of State to report annually on the extent and
disposition of all U.S. contributions (assessed and voluntary) to all international
organizations in which the United States participates. The report does not include
67 S. 392 was reported without amendment favorably from the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee on July 16, 2007 (S.Rept. 110-130).
68 The State Department’s report on U.S. contributions to the United Nations and U.N.
system for fiscal years 2006 and 2007 was received in the House on June 9, 2008.
the international financial institutions, organizations with fewer than three members,
the cost to the U.S. government of salaries and expenses of U.S. employees detailed
to such organizations, loans which are to be repaid, and two-party contractual or
other arrangements between an U.S. agency and the organization.
The report was last published, as a House document or State Department
publication, in July 1993, for FY1991. The final published report was 170 pages and
included three tables of special interest: U.S. Contributions to International
Organizations, FY1946-1991; U.S. Contributions to the United Nations, Specialized
Agencies, International Atomic Energy Agency, Calendar Years 1946-1991; and
United Nations, Specialized Agencies, Special Programs, and the International
Atomic Energy Agency: Total Program (Expenditures or Authorizations), Calendar
Years 1946-1991. As issued for FY2004, this 10-page report might be viewed as a
minimum response to the reporting requirement and the absence of the last three
charts means that information on U.S. contributions to the U.N. system in an
organized fashion no longer exists.
Another reporting requirement, adopted in 1980 (P.L. 96-533, Title VII, section
703) and terminated in 1998 (P.L. 105-362, section 1301 (b)(2)), required a
semiannual report on all U.S. government voluntary contributions to international
organizations. One weakness of the resulting reports was that they were just sheets
of paper from any U.S. government agency involved in the exercise, provided
without organization or analysis.
A third report required annually on U.S. participation in United Nations
peacekeeping operations (22 U.S.C. 287b (c)) was added to the United Nations
Participation Act. It includes data on U.S. assessed and voluntary contributions to
U.N. peacekeeping operations on a calendar year basis and was originally required
from the President (now the State Department). This report is not published but is
transmitted to the appropriate committees. The 2005 Annual Report to the Congress
on United Nations Peacekeeping was received in the Senate and referred to the
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on July 12, 2006. The same report was
received and referred to the House Committee on International Relations on July 11,
2006.69 The 2006 Annual Report to the Congress on United Nations Peacekeeping
was sent to Congress on August 9, 2007.
United Nations Reform
Reform of the United Nations has been a persistent issue over the history of the
organization. The drafters of the Charter anticipated that changes might be required
and provided, in Article 109 of the Charter, for the convening of a conference of U.N.
member states to review the Charter at least at the ten-year mark of its entry into
force. That conference was never convened. Article 108 of the Charter provided for
formal amendment of the Charter which has occurred on three occasions. One
involved enlargement of the Security Council and two involved enlargement of the
Economic and Social Council. Congress has also sought change at the United
69 EC-7491, cited in Congressional Record [daily edition] July 12, 2006: S7414; EC 8437,
cited in Congressional Record [daily edition] July 11, 2006: H5044.
Nations. Recent congressional efforts, especially in the post-Cold War era, have
been directed toward a more effective and efficient organization that works within
Kassebaum-Solomon Provisions. Between 1985 and 1988, a number of
factors combined to create concern among some in Congress over the use of regular
budget funds and the direction of voting in the U.N. General Assembly. Some in
Congress viewed many U.N. member states as voting “against” the United States in
the Assembly. In 1985, Congress adopted the Kassebaum-Solomon amendment
(Section 143, Foreign Relations Authorization Act, FY1986-1987, H.R. 2068, P.L.
99-93, August 17, 1985) that reduced U.S. assessed contributions by 20% unless
steps were taken by the United Nations to give the major contributors to the U.N.
regular budget an influence on budget questions proportionate to their rates of
In December 1985, in response to the issues raised by the Kassebaum-Solomon
amendment and accompanying congressional debate, the U.N. General Assembly
established a Group of High-Level Intergovernmental Experts to “review the
efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning” of the United Nations and
to offer recommendations for streamlining the organization. This Group of 18
proposed 71 recommendations, most of which were approved by the 1986 Assembly
session. In addition, the 1986 Assembly adopted a revised “planning, programming
and budgeting process” that sought to ensure an influential role for major
contributing countries by, among other changes, using consensus as a basic decision-
On December 22, 1987, Congress recognized that both the U.N. membership
and the U.N. Secretary-General had started to respond to its concerns. Title VII of the
State Department Authorization Act, FY1988-1989, H.R. 1777, P.L. 100-204,
created a new payment schedule that tied full funding of U.S. contributions to the
U.N. regular budget to further progress toward reform by providing that:
— 40% of the contribution could be paid on October 1, of each year;
— a second 40% could be paid when the President certified that progress was
being made in implementing U.N. reform in three areas:
2) reductions in U.N. secretariat staffing, and
3) reductions in the number of Soviet U.N. employees on fixed-term
— the remaining 20% could be paid 30 days after Congress had received the
certification, unless Congress passed a joint resolution prohibiting the
70 This amendment applied to the United Nations and to any specialized agencies for which
the United States was assessed more than 20% in regular budget contributions. For
specialized agencies, 1987 legislation revising the original provision required a Presidential
determination to Congress that each affected agency made substantial progress toward
adoption and implementation of reform budget procedures before any contribution over 20%
could be paid.
Although no deadline was given for submission of the President’s certification report,
release of up to 60% of the funds appropriated for the U.N. regular budget was
dependent on submission of the report and its acceptance by the Congress.
On September 13, 1988, President Reagan certified that progress had been
made, and announced release of an initial $44 million in calendar year 1987 regular
budget contributions to the United Nations; a later certification resulted in release of
$144 million in calendar year 1988 regular budget funds. Reagan also called on the
State Department to develop a plan to pay over $500 million in arrears to the entire
U.N. system over the next three to five years. It would take several years, however,
for the U.S. arrears built up over time to be paid to the United Nations.
Office of Internal Oversight Services. In 1993, Congress provided that
10% of the U.S. assessed contribution to the U.N. regular budget be available only
when the Secretary of State had certified to Congress that “the United Nations has
established an independent office with responsibilities and powers substantially
similar to offices of Inspectors General authorized by the Inspector General Act of
1978....” 71 Many in Congress believed that an independent mechanism was needed
to reduce and eliminate instances of “waste, fraud, and abuse” at the United Nations.
On November 16, 1993, U.S. ambassador Madeleine Albright proposed that the
United Nations establish such a post. On July 29, 1994, the General Assembly
established an Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) headed by an
Under-Secretary General appointed by the U.N. Secretary-General with the approval
of the General Assembly.72 Eleven annual reports on the activities of the Office
through June 30, 2005, have been submitted to the General Assembly, and the Office
has undertaken an increasing number of monitoring, auditing, and investigative73
The Helms-Biden Agreement and Payment of Arrears. The U.S.
government pressed for U.N. reform in the 1990s, linking payment of past arrears to
reforms. These arrears, to both the United Nations, U.N. specialized agencies, and
a few non-U.N. organizations originated from the non-payments of the mid-1980s;
others derived from the placement of a cap on U.S. contributions to U.N.
peacekeeping account contributions. High-level negotiations between the Clinton
Administration and congressional leaders led to agreement on an arrearage payment
plan linked to reform “benchmarks,” popularly known as the Helms-Biden
agreement. The 106th Congress enacted P.L. 106-113 including the Helms-Biden
agreement conditioning arrears payments on U.N. reforms.74
71 Department of State Appropriations Act, 1994, H.R. 2519, P.L. 103-121, October 27,
72 U.N. General Assembly Resolution A/RES/48/218B.
73 See OIOS website at [http://www.un.org/Depts/oios/] for links to annual reports to the
Assembly and to other reports issued publicly.
74 Title IX, The United Nations Reform Act of 1999, in the State Department Authorization
Act, FY2000-2001, as part of an Omnibus Appropriations Act, FY2000, P.L. 106-113,
signed November 29, 1999.
P.L. 106-113 incorporated the Helms-Biden agreement and authorized
appropriations for payment of some U.S. arrears to international organizations
provided certain conditions were met and certified by the Secretary of State. The
agreement authorized payment of $819 million ($100 million of FY1998 funds, $475
million of FY1999 funds, and $244 million of FY2000 funds), and authorized $107
million owed by the United Nations to the United States for peacekeeping to be
forgiven provided the United Nations applied the $107 million to reduce U.S.
peacekeeping account arrears.
Among the U.S. conditions was reduction of U.S. regular budget assessments
to 22% (from 25%) and reduction of U.S. peacekeeping assessments to 25% (from
about 30%). In December 2000, the U.N. General Assembly agreed on a financial
restructuring of both the regular and peacekeeping assessment structures. As a result
the U.S. share of the regular budget was reduced from 25% to 22% and for
peacekeeping from about 30.4% to 28.14%, initially, and falling in subsequent years
to about 26.5% currently.
Task Force on the United Nations. Appropriations legislation (P.L. 108-
447) for FY2005 included a provision directing that $1.5 million of the money
appropriated for the U.S. Institute for Peace be used for the expenses of a Task Force
on the United Nations. The Institute was directed to create a task force consisting of
no more than a total of 12 experts to study U.N. efforts to meet the goals of its
Charter and recommend an actionable agenda for the United States on the United
Nations. The Task Force was co-chaired by former Speaker of the House of
Representatives, Newt Gingrich, and former Senate majority leader, George Mitchell.
The Task Force report was released on June 15, 2005.75 Among its
recommendations, the Task Force suggested: creation of an Independent Oversight
Board and a Chief Operating Officer; authorizing the U.N. Secretary-General to
replace top officials without Assembly approval; sunset provisions for all programs
and activities; disclosure standards for top officials; greater independence for the
Department of Peacekeeping; and improvement of the U.N. capacity to stop genocide
and mass killing.
Congress and U.N. Reform: 2005-2006. On June 17, 2005, the House,
by a vote of 221 to 184, passed H.R. 2745, the Henry J. Hyde United Nations Reform
Act of 2005. The wide-ranging and complex measure would require numerous State
Department certifications and reports. The measure would withhold 50% of U.S.
assessed dues to the U.N. regular budget beginning with calendar year 2007 (financed
from U.S. FY2008 funds), if 32 of 40 changes were not in place, including 15
mandatory reforms. Among the changes sought by the legislation were: changing
funding for 18 U.N. programs to be totally voluntary; creation of an independent
Oversight Board; establishment of a U.N. Office of Ethics; barring membership on
human rights bodies to countries under U.N. investigation for human rights abuses;
reduction in funding for U.N. General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services as
well as for public information; and reform in U.N. peacekeeping and establishment
75 See [http://www.usip.org/un/index.html] for home page of the Task Force and links to its
June 2005 report: American Interests and UN Reform and its December 2005 update: The
Imperative for Action: An Update.
of a Peacebuilding Commission. No new or expanded peacekeeping operations
would be allowed until the Secretary of State had certified that U.N. peacekeeping
reforms had been achieved.
During floor debate on H.R. 2745 in 2005, a number of additional provisions
were adopted including limiting U.S. contributions to the U.N. Relief and Works
Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); calling for zero nominal
growth in the assessed budgets of the United Nations and its specialized agencies;
requiring the Independent Oversight Board to evaluate the final report of the
Independent Inquiry Committee on the Oil for Food Program; requiring the U.S.
Office of Management and Budget to provide Congress with a report on all U.S.
contributions to the United Nations; and calling for lifting the prohibition on use of
gratis military personnel. The Bush Administration expressed reservations about the
House legislation because of its withholding provisions and because it would infringe
on the President’s authority to carry out foreign affairs. H.R. 2745, as passed by the
House, was included in H.R. 2601, Foreign Relations Authorization for FY2006 and
A U.N. reform measure was also introduced in the Senate, S. 1383. The Senate
measure would allow the President to withhold 50% of U.S. contributions to the
United Nations if the President determined that the United Nations was not making
sufficient progress on reforms. No Foreign Relations Authorization Act was passed
Reform Initiatives in the United Nations.76 In 1997, Kofi Annan, after
being elected U.N. Secretary-General on a reform platform, announced a two-track
reform program. The first track included immediate managerial changes within the
Secretary-General’s authority to execute, while the second track included reform
measures requiring consultation and/or approval by U.N. member governments.
Among the first track initiatives were: reducing the budget, staffing levels, and
documentation; creating a code of conduct for U.N. staff; reorienting the Department
of Public Information; consolidating administrative, financial, personnel,
procurement and other services; consolidating economic and social departments;
streamlining technical support; and improving integration of development activities
at the country level.
Second track proposals focused on U.N. core missions and on improving
management and efficiency. They included creating a new management and
leadership structure by establishing a Deputy Secretary-General, a Senior
Management Group, and a Strategic Planning Unit; overhauling human resources
policies and practices including changing the management culture, eliminating 1,000
jobs and reducing administrative costs; and promoting sustainable development as
a central U.N. priority. The proposals also called for improving peacekeeping and
strengthening post-conflict peace-building capacity; bolstering international efforts
to combat crime, drugs and terrorism by consolidating activities in Vienna;
establishing a Department for Disarmament and Arms Regulation; enhancing
humanitarian activities by replacing the Department of Humanitarian Affairs; and
76 See [http://www.un.org/reform/]. From this site, see Useful links and Key Documents.
revamping public information functions. The proposals also called for the following:
refocusing the work of the General Assembly on priority issues and reducing the
length of sessions; establishing a ministerial-level commission to review the U.N.
Charter and specialized agency constitutions; and designating the General Assembly
session in the year 2000 as “a Millennium Assembly” to focus on preparing the
United Nations for the 21st century.
The U.N. General Assembly in 1997 affirmed many policy formulations and
management changes proposed by Secretary-General Annan including establishing
a Deputy Secretary-General post.77 In December 2000, the U.N. General Assembly
authorized implementation of results based budgeting for the 2003-2003 biennium
budget. On June 29, 2001, Secretary-General Annan was elected to a second five-
year term, to start January 1, 2002. Urging the United Nations to align its activities
to doing what matters in the 21st century, in September 2002, Secretary-General
Annan submitted a report, Strengthening of the United Nations: An Agenda for
Further Change, calling for additional reforms.78
On December 2, 2004, a group appointed by the Secretary-General, called the
High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, issued its report, A More
Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility.79 The report acknowledged failures and
shortcomings in the organization and offered many recommendations for significant
changes including enlarging the Security Council, creating a Peacebuilding
Commission, and strengthening the role of the Secretary-General. Many of these
recommendations required implementation by U.N. member states. Drawing on
some of the proposals in the High-level Panel’s report, the Secretary-General on
March 21, 2005, issued his own report, In Larger Freedom: Towards Development,
Security and Human Rights for All.80 The Secretary-General hoped that these reform
proposals would form the basis for discussion and final decision at a U.N. summit,
scheduled for September 2005.
This meeting, at the start of the 60th session of the General Assembly, also
commemorated the organization’s 60th anniversary.81 The 2005 U.N. Summit,
meeting September 14-16, 2005, agreed, without a vote, to the 2005 World Summit
Outcome resolution which included some reform measures, but the details of such
measures were mainly left for continued discussions during the 60th and into the 61st
(to start September 2006) session of the U.N. General Assembly.82
77 Louise Frechette of Canada was Deputy Secretary-General from March 2, 1998 through
March 31, 2006. British national Mark Malloch Brown started as Deputy on April 1, 2006.
78 U.N. document A/57/387.
81 See [http://www.un.org/summit2005/].
82 U.N. General Assembly Resolution 60/1 [A/RES/60/1]. Additional changes include the
following: In May 2005, the Secretary-General appointed Christopher Burnham to be U.N.
Under Secretary-General for Management. (Burnham had previously been at the U.S.
Department of State in a similar capacity). This U.N. position has been held by Americans
The Bush Administration also expressed support for U.N. reforms. It called for
measures to improve internal oversight and accountability, to identify cost savings,
and to allocate resources to high priority programs and offices. It expressed support
for creation of a Peacebuilding Commission, for replacement of the Commission on
Human Rights with a smaller action-oriented Human Rights Council, and support for
a Democracy Fund (originally proposed by President Bush in September 2004). The
U.S. government expressed its openness to Security Council reform and expansion,
but not at the expense of effectiveness.
As of August 9, 2006, several reform measures have been put into place. These
include creation of the Peacebuilding Commission, establishment and operation of
a new U.N. Human Rights Council to replace the U.N. Commission on Human
Rights, U.N. Democracy Fund, U.N. Ethics Office, strengthened financial disclosure
requirements and whistleblower protections, and Central Emergency Response Fund.
In addition, the General Assembly has held at least 20 meetings of an Informal
Plenary on Mandate Review. This review involves 9,000 mandates that are five
years or older, with the goal of eliminating or reducing those tasks no longer relevant.
No decisions have been taken as a result of this review. (See CRS Report RL33848,
United Nations Reform: U.S. Policy and International Perspectives, by Luisa
Blanchfield, for a further and updated discussion of U.N. reform issues.)
in recent years. Burnham’s predecessor, Catherine Bertini, had been preceded by Joseph
Connor. The number of U.N. Secretariat staff had been cut from about 12,000 in 1985 to
about 9,000 today. The U.N. regular budget for the 2000-2001 biennium was $2.562 billion
(or a little less than $1.3 billion per year). The regular budget for 2002-2003 was $2.891
billion; and the regular budget for 2004-2005 was $3.608 billion.
Appendix A. Congress and Funding the U.N.
FY2004. For FY2004, President Bush requested $1,010,000,000 for the CIO
account, of which $745.8 million was for assessed contributions to U.N. system
organizations (of which $340.7 million was for the U.N. regular budget), and $550.2
million for assessed contributions to the CIPA account.
On September 5, 2003, the Senate Appropriations Committee, reporting in
S.Rept. 108-144 on S. 1585, making appropriations for the Departments of
Commerce, Justice, and State, recommended $921,888,000 for the CIO account and
$482,649,000 for the CIPA account. The Committee deleted $71,429,000 requested
funding for a U.S. return to membership in the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO), noting that the Committee did not consider
UNESCO reformed. The Committee directed that the Inspector General of the
Department of State conduct an annual audit of UNESCO to determine the status of
reform, the qualifications of UNESCO’s staff, its procedures for hiring and
promoting personnel, a detailed breakdown of expenditures, and how U.S.
membership would advance the goals of the UNESCO and U.S. priorities.
The Senate Appropriations Committee also deleted $11,779,000 from requested
funding for the U.N. regular budget because the Committee did not want to provide
funding for the U.N. Commission on Human Rights which, in its view, had too long
been dominated by known human rights violators. In addition, of the funds made
available for the U.S. contribution to the U.N. regular budget, $10 million was to be
used to reimburse New York City for unanticipated costs in providing protection to
foreign officials associated with the United Nations in the aftermath of September 11,
2001. The Committee also expressed its views on war crimes tribunals, directing the
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to complete its work by 2004 and
the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to complete
its work by 2006. The Committee also expressed its support for the Special Court
for Sierra Leone and Directed the U.N. Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) to
provide the necessary support for the Court.
On July 23, 2003, the House, by a vote of 400 in favor, to 21 against, passed
H.R. 2799, making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and
State for FY2004, providing the requested $1.010 billion for assessed contributions
to international organizations (CIO) and $550.2 million for assessed contributions to
U.N. peacekeeping activities (CIPA). In its report (H.Rept. 108-221) on this
measure, the House Committee on Appropriations had included the full amount
requested by the President for a U.S. return to membership in UNESCO. The
Committee noted that it expected the Department of State to work aggressively to
ensure that UNESCO employs more Americans, especially at senior levels. The
Committee also noted that if the 2004-2005 UNESCO budget is increased, that
increase should focus on management and administrative reforms identified by the
General Accounting Office. The Committee urged the Department of State to
consider the appointment of a single representative with the rank of ambassador to
represent the United States at UNESCO and at the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development, both at Paris, France. During floor debate on H.R.
2799, an amendment offered by Representative Ron Paul to strike funding for
UNESCO was defeated by a vote of 145 in favor of the amendment to 279 against
P.L. 108-199 (H.R. 2673, signed January 23, 2004), the Consolidated
Appropriations Act for FY2004, included $1,010,463,000 for U.S. contributions to
international organizations (CIO) account, and $550,200,000 for U.S. contributions
to U.N. peacekeeping activities (CIPA) account, as requested by the President. The
measure included a requirement that non-defense spending be cut by 0.59% across
FY2005. On February 2, 2004, the Bush Administration requested $1.194
billion for U.S. assessed Contributions to International Organizations (CIO), of
which $819 million was for assessed U.N. system organizations including $362.2
million for the U.N. regular budget and $6 million for the U.N. Capital Master Plan,
a loan subsidy relating to the renovation of the U.N. headquarters complex in New
York. In addition, he requested $650 million for assessed contributions to U.N.
peacekeeping activities (CIPA).
On July 1, 2004, the House Committee on Appropriations reported H.R. 4754
as an original measure. The Committee recommended full funding of the request for
CIO and CIPA. The Committee expressed its support for the U.S. policy of zero
nominal growth budgets for international organizations and noted that if the United
Nations proposed exceeding its $3.16 billion biennial budget, the Committee should
be notified before consideration and adoption of such a proposal. While
recommending full payment of U.S. assessed U.N. budget dues, the Committee
expressed concern about allegations of corruption in the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program.
It noted that the United Nations needed to do more about the crises in Sudan. It also
expressed concern over charges of sexual abuse of minors by some associated with
U.N. peacekeeping operations. The Committee included $6 million for costs of a
direct loan of up to $1.2 billion to the United Nations for renovating U.N.
headquarters in New York.
On July 8, 2004, the House, by a vote of 397 to 18, passed H.R. 4754,
appropriating $1.194 billion for U.S. assessed Contributions to International
Organizations (CIO) and $650 million for U.S. assessed contributions to U.N.
peacekeeping activities (CIPA). During House floor consideration of the bill, a
number of amendments were offered to reduce or cut CIO funding. On July 7, 2004,
Representative Ron Paul’s amendment to prohibit funds for UNESCO failed by a
vote of 135 to 333, and his amendment to prohibit U.S. contributions to the United
Nations or U.N. affiliated agencies failed by a vote of 83 to 335. The next day,
Representative Smith’s (Michigan) amendment to reduce CIO funding by $20
million to express concern about the alleged corruption in the U.N. Oil-for-Food
program failed by a vote of 129 to 291.
On September 15, 2004, the Senate Committee on Appropriations reported
(S.Rept. 108-344) on S. 2809, funding the Departments of Commerce, Justice and
State for FY2005. The Committee recommendation of $1.020 billion for U.S.
assessed Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) was $173,380,000 below
the amount requested by the Administration; and the $574 million recommended for
assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping activities (CIPA) was $76 million below
the amount requested by the Administration. The Committee recommended
allocation of $70 million for the IAEA, $12.7 million for the International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO), $1.35 million for the International Maritime
Organization (IMO), and $1.1 million for the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO). The Committee also recommended $6 million to subsidize
the cost of a $1.2 billion loan to the United Nations for renovation of its
headquarters. The Committee also recommended that the Department of State urge
the United Nations to make available to congressional committees investigating the
Oil-for-Food program all relevant documents, and ensure that the Volcker Inquiry
was conducted rigorously.83
The conference committee in H.Rept. 108-792, expressed concern that the U.N.
Oil for Food Program was marred by allegations of corruption and that it abetted a
tyrannical regime and undermined the international community’s good will. It
directed the Department of State to bring all necessary resources to bear on
investigation of the Oil for Food Program and provide all requested documents to the
U.S. Congress and to provide any requested assistance to the U.N. Secretary-
General’s Independent Inquiry Committee.
P.L. 108-447, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, FY2005 included $1.182
billion for U.S. assessed contributions to international organizations (CIO) account
of which up to $6.0 million may be used for the cost of a direct loan of up to $1.2
billion to the United Nations for renovating U.N. headquarters in New York; and
$490 million for assessed contribution to U.N. peacekeeping activities (CIPA)
account. The Secretary of State was to provide the Appropriations Committees with
a copy of the most recent U.N. biennium budget and to notify the Committees of any
United Nations action to increase funding for any U.N. program without identifying
an offsetting decrease elsewhere in the U.N. budget. This caused the United Nations
to exceed its adopted biennium budget for the 2004-2005 of $3.16 billion. The
measure included a rescission of 0.54% for any discretionary account in the act.
As already discussed, the measure directed that $1.5 million of the money
appropriated for the U.S. Institute for Peace be used for the expenses of a Task Force
on the United Nations. The Institute was to create the task force consisting of no
more than a total 12 experts drawn from the American Enterprise Institute, Brookings
Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, Center for Strategic and International
Studies, Hoover Institution, and the Heritage Foundation. The task force was to
study U.N. efforts to meet the goals of its Charter and submit its report within 180
days of enactment.
83 Following press accounts of serious allegations, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in
April 2004 set up the “Volcker” Independent Inquiry Committee. Endorsed by the U.N.
Security Council, the mandate of the Committee was to investigate the administration and
management of the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program in Iraq. Paul Volcker chaired the Committee
of three. See [http://www.iic-offp.org] for further information.
U.N. Voluntary Programs
FY2004. President Bush requested $314.6 million for FY2004 for voluntary
contributions to the International Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account. An
additional $50 million was requested for IAEA voluntary contributions in another
On July 23, 2003, the House, by a vote of 370 to 50, passed H.R. 2800, making
appropriations for foreign operations including $194,550,000 for voluntary
contributions to the IO&P account. H.R. 2800 included $120 million for UNICEF
and $52.9 million for voluntary IAEA programs in other accounts. During House
consideration, an amendment by Representative Nadler to withhold funds for the
U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
failed when a point of order was sustained against it.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, FY2004 (P.L. 108-199, signed January
23, 2004) included $321,650,000 for voluntary contributions to the International
Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account, including $120 million for UNICEF
and $102 million for the U.N. Development Program (UNDP). Appropriated in
another account was $53 million for voluntary contributions to the IAEA.
FY2005. The Administration requested $304.45 million for voluntary
contributions for the International Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account for
FY2005. In addition, $53 million was requested for voluntary contributions to IAEA
in another account.
On July 13, 2004, the House Appropriations Committee reported (H.Rept. 108-
599) H.R. 4818 as an original measure. The Committee recommended $323.45
million for voluntary contributions to the international organizations and programs
(IO&P) account, $19 million more than requested by the Administration. The
Committee recommended not less than $107 million for UNDP; not less than $7
million for the U.N. Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture; not less than $125
million for UNICEF; and $3 million for UNIFEM (of which $1 million would be for
a first time contribution to the Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate
Violence Against Women).
On July 15, 2004, the House, by a vote of 365 to 41, passed H.R. 4818,
including $323.45 million for U.S. voluntary contributions to the international
organizations and programs (IO&P) account. The bill included $53 million for a
voluntary contribution to the IAEA in another account. During House floor debate
on H.R. 4818, Representative Buyer introduced an amendment that prohibited any
funds appropriated by this measure to be used by any U.S. government official to
request the United Nations to assess the validity of elections in the United States.
The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 243 to 161.
P.L. 108-447 included for FY2005, $319,494,000 for voluntary contributions
to the International Organizations and Programs account (IO&P) as well as $53
million for voluntary contributions to IAEA appropriated in another account.
U.N. Peacekeeping Operations
FY2004. P.L. 108-199, appropriating funds for the State Department, included
$550.2 million for FY2004 U.S. assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping
activities (CIPA), the amount requested by the President.
FY2005. The Administration requested $650 million for FY2005 for U.S.
assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping operations. Another $780 million was
requested for U.N. peacekeeping in supplemental FY2005 appropriations. H.R.
1268, signed May 11, 2005, as P.L. 109-13, included $680 million. The State
Department Appropriations Act, FY2005, P.L. 108-447, included $490 million for
FY2005 U.S. assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping activities.
Appendix B. The United Nations System:
An Organizational Chart