October 7, 2006
Each year, Congress is responsible for approving the payments requested
by the Administration for U.S. assessed contributions to the United
Nations' regular and peacekeeping budgets. Currently, the U.S. is
assessed 22% of the UN regular budget and 27% for UN peacekeeping
costs. These contributions are used for activities such as deterring
and preventing terrorism; stopping the proliferation of nuclear
and biological weapons; improving health and nutrition; and fostering
peace and democracy around the world.
The payment of our regular and peacekeeping dues is a treaty obligation
that the U.S. voluntarily takes on by being part of the UN. Meeting
these financial obligations is critically important to UN operations.
Yet the U.S. government is falling further behind in its UN dues.
This year, the Administration's budget failed to adequately fund
our assessed dues at the UN, and many in Congress have been disinclined
to increase funding for UN accounts.
- Do you support the U.S. paying its full share of funding responsibilities
for the United Nations?
(A) Yes, I support the U.S. paying all its funding dues
to the UN
The U.S. government is falling further behind in its dues to the
UN; U.S. debt to the UN is likely to double this year, to about
$1.3 billion. Most of the arrears are for supporting critical peacekeeping
missions around the world including Lebanon and Sudan.
- Do you support the U.S. paying all of the debt it has accumulated
with the UN?
(A) Yes, I support the U.S. paying all of its arrears
to the United Nations
Over the last several years, the international community has called
on the UN to take on an increasing number of peacekeeping missions.
As a permanent member of the Security Council - which authorizes
UN peacekeeping missions - the U.S. has the right to block the creation
of any new mission and to cut off any existing mission every six
months. As such, the President Bush and his UN Ambassador, John
Bolton, have consistently supported all new and existing UN peacekeeping
missions around the world.
- Do you support the United Nations peacekeeping operations
(A) Darfur __X_
(B) Lebanon __X_
(C) India/Pakistan __X_ Yes ____No
In 2006, President Bush asked Congress for $22 million to begin
refurbishing the United Nations' headquarters - a complex that fails
to meet New York City fire, health, and safety codes even as it
remains a terrorist target. Over 4000 civil servants, a quarter
of them Americans, work at the headquarters. Over 350,000 people
visit the building annually. The UN headquarters complex was also
designed to accommodate 70 member nations, not the current membership
- Do you support renovating UN headquarters in New York to accommodate
today's UN membership and get it into compliance with New York City
fire, health, and safety codes?
(A) Yes, I support paying our assessed share of the
costs to refurbish the UN headquarters in New York and get it
into compliance with New York City fire, health and safety codes.
The United Nations is the world's pre-eminent diplomatic forum -
and it has a unique level of global legitimacy because it is open
to all countries. During the past 60 years, the United Nations has
helped governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals
promote peace, stability and prosperity throughout the world. Together,
the 192 member-states of the UN have ended wars and prevented conflict.
Together they have blazed trails to eradicate polio and built international
networks and warning systems to end other infectious diseases. Together,
they have created the stability that fosters economic growth and
- Do you believe that paying our dues in full and engaging constructively
at the United Nations can help repair U.S. alliances and restore
our reputation internationally?
A. Yes, I think that paying our dues and engaging constructively
at the UN can help to rebuild alliances and restore the United States'
- Please tell us what you believe is the primary way the United
Nations furthers the United States' international interests?
- The United Nations shares the financial and military burdens
in conflict areas so the U.S., as the world's only remaining superpower,
doesn't have to pay all the bills and face all the risk.
- The United Nations provides a diplomatic forum to strengthen
- The UN provides international legitimacy for efforts like countering
weapons proliferation in Iran, a place where the U.S. acting alone
has little influence.
A. All three choices are legitimate. I would put (B)
as first in priority, followed by (C) and then (A).
Candidate Signature: Jean Hay Bright
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact phone number: 207-234-4224