NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Should U.S. Be Paying U.N. Dues?

July 14, 1997

Some United Nation critics argue that by paying our back dues to the U.N., we are rewarding waste, inefficiency and corruption. Moreover, they claim, repayment is a totally unnecessary concession on our part.

  • They point out that our current $1 billion debt should be measured against the nearly $30 billion contributed by the U.S. over the past half-century.
  • Over the years, the Soviet Union, its Eastern European satellites, China, France and South Africa, among others, have failed to meet their financial obligations.
  • Despite repeated predictions of impending financial ruin, U.N. operations have grown exponentially -- including a nearly ten-fold increase in U.N. peacekeeping expenditures.
  • The U.N.'s cash holdings at the end of 1995 totaled a comfortable $780 million.

Critics further assert that U.S. funds would flow to wealthy allies, such as Britain, France, Spain, Sweden and Italy to reimburse them for troops provided to U.N. peacekeeping operations. Governments of developing countries such as Ghana, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Fiji will reap windfall profits for services of their troops -- each of whom might be paid the local equivalent of $100 a month, but are provided to the U.N. at a rate of $1,000 per month.

Source: Michael Michalski (former U.S. delegation member), "Assessing the U.N.," National Review, July 14, 1997.


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