NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The United States' U.N. Dues

December 27, 1996

The United States is assessed 25 percent of the United Nation's general budget. That's double the assessment of Japan, the next closest underwriter. The U.N. estimates that the U.S. is more than $1 billion in arrears in payments to the U.N.

Former U.S. chief U.N. delegate Jean Kirkpatrick contends that while our dues are unreasonably high, we should go ahead and pay them -- then work to see that they are adjusted downward.

  • Our 25 percent compares to 12.5 percent for Japan and 8.93 percent paid by the United Kingdom.
  • The US. is assessed 31.7 percent of the cost of peace-keeping activities, compared to 8.5 percent for Russia, 6.3 percent for the U.K. and 7.6 percent for France.
  • The U.S. donates logistical support, weapons, NATO flights, intelligence, ships and manpower to U.S. peacekeeping operations while virtually all other countries are reimbursed for such goods and services.
  • The U.S. is also the largest donor to most of the U.N.'s independent agencies, such as UNICEF and the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees.

Ms. Kirkpatrick argues that the U.N. should not try to fight wars, but should concentrate on non-military problem solving, traditional peace-keeping and humanitarian assistance.

Source: Jean J. Kirkpatrick (Georgetown University), "Reform the U.N. -- After Our Bill Is Paid," New York Times, December 27, 1996


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