Saturday, June 27, 2009

U.S. set to pay off UN debt

We have terrific news to share! The President signed legislation this week that will enact Congress’ FY 2009 emergency supplemental appropriations bill, which includes enough funds to pay off all debt the U.S. owes the UN going back to 1999.

As you may know, when Ted Turner announced his intention to give a billion dollars to support the UN almost 12 years ago, he did so because the United States was about a billion dollars behind in its payments to the UN.

The UN Foundation and our sister organization, the Better World Campaign, worked to build support for the original Congressional agreement, which in exchange for certain UN reforms, led to the U.S. paying over $800 million in debt to the UN. It was a great accomplishment.

Now, a decade after the first Congressional agreement, it is time to celebrate once again. Our government has recognized that we must keep the U.S. in good financial standing and honor our obligations at the UN. And with passage of the FY09 supplemental spending bill, debt to the UN accumulated since 1999 has been paid.

Indeed, great nations pay their bills, and by fully funding the UN and other international organizations whose work supports U.S. national security, we create greater legitimacy for our foreign policy and economic goals and empower U.S. diplomacy. In this way, we can continue America’s resumption of leadership through multilateral diplomacy.

Thank you for your continued support and interest in a strong U.S.-UN relationship.


Timothy Wirth signature

Timothy E. Wirth
President, United Nations Foundation

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