NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

U.N. Bypasses Americans For Top Posts

January 5, 1999

No American holds a top decision-making post concerned with peacekeeping, economic or social programs at the United Nations -- even though the United States pays one-quarter of all the organization's costs. A Washington Times survey reveals that the 118 most senior Secretariat officials include just 18 Americans, most of whom have only non-policy, administrative roles.

  • Only one American -- Joseph E. Connor, an accountant -- is a substantive decision-maker in the Secretary General's Cabinet, and he is the paymaster.
  • Two-thirds of the 1,652 Americans employed by the Secretariat hold lower-paying clerical and service jobs -- with only 523 holding professional jobs on the 13,000 member Secretariat staff.
  • Even though the Philippines pays only 0.077 percent of U.N. costs, it has 627 employees in the Secretariat.
  • Kenya is assessed the same small percentage as the Philippines, and has 613 Secretariat employees.

The U.S. has no representative on the important U.N. Board of Auditors, which tracks mismanagement and fraud in the U.N.'s $3 billion annual operations.

Critics, including former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Jeane Kirkpatrick, say Third World and former Soviet bloc countries have teamed up to shut out Americans from positions of authority and power. Kirkpatrick maintains the Clinton administration has allowed U.S. influence to wane because the State Department and the U.S. Mission to the U.N. have refused to insist that the U.S. be represented on all major U.N. committees, as required by the Permanent Members Convention.

Source: George Archibald, "Americans Shut Out of Crucial U.N. Posts," Washington Times, January 5, 1999.


Browse more articles on International Issues