|(Washington, DC) –Log Cabin Republicans support United Nations reform efforts led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) and call for restoration of the UN Transparency and Accountability Initiative (UNTAI). The United States pays all contributions that the United Nations assesses our government which is 20 percent of their annual budget, plus billions more every year. The vast majority of countries at the UN General Assembly, including human rights violators such as Iran, pay next to nothing in UN assessed contributions. Still, these countries are able to opine, advocate, vote and adopt resolutions. R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans and former US Delegate to the UN urged, “Congress needs to enact legislation that conditions our contributions and provides our strongest leverage for real, sweeping reform, including moving the UN regular budget to a voluntary funding basis. Log Cabin Republicans endorse Chairman Ros-Lehtinen’s foresight to make US contributions to the UN contingent upon performance and merit. During such tough economic times, it is an insult to US taxpayers that they are paying one-fifth of the UN bills for institutionalized homophobia, human rights abuses and anti-Israel activities.”
Chairman Ros-Lehtinen remarked upon her plan to re-introduce United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act, “US policy on the United Nations should be based on three fundamental questions: Are we advancing American interests? Are we upholding American values? And are we being responsible stewards of American taxpayer dollars? Unfortunately, right now, the answer to all three questions is ‘No.’ With no strings attached, we pay all contributions that the UN assess our country,” and that “Each UN office, activity, program, and sub-program, country by country and function by function, must be justified on its own merits. UNICEF programs to help starving children cannot excuse the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s having members of Hamas on its payroll. The World Health Organization’s vaccination programs cannot excuse the Human Rights Council’s biased actions. US taxpayers can pay for the UN programs and activities that advance our interests and values, and if other countries want different things to be funded, they can pay for it themselves. This will encourage competition, competence, and effectiveness. The voluntary model works for UNICEF and many other UN agencies, and it can work for the UN as a whole.”
Cooper continued, “In light of the revelations in late 2006 and early 2007 of abuses by North Korea involving humanitarian and development activities in the UN’s Funds and Programs, and consistent with the demands of world leaders for a more “efficient, effective, transparent and accountable Organization,” Log Cabin Republicans supported the Bush Administration’s “United Nations Transparency and Accountability Initiative,” or UNTAI where the US and other member states could exercise greater oversight and increase transparency and accountability to ensure funds were utilized efficiently and effectively for their intended purpose.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, in Fiscal Year 2009, the US contributed over 6 billion dollars to the UN. This was at a time of high domestic unemployment, skyrocketing deficits, crushing debt. The time is right to bring reform, transparency and accountability to the UN.”