05/24/05 — Cut funding: Getting attention of United Nations

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Cut funding: Getting attention of United Nations

A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would invoke a weapon of proven effectiveness at home in our country’s dealing with the United Nations.

It would reduce U.S. financial support of the U.N. if it continues to appoint human-rights violators to serve on bodies championing human rights.

In the past, the U.N. named a Libyan to head its human rights arm. That was about like appointing an Adolf Hitler to safeguard the well-being of Jews.

The House measure also would cut U.S. funds in half if the U.N. continues to insist on programs that are inefficient and wasteful.

That’s pretty strong medicine in light of the fact that the United States provides one-fourth of the United Nations’ $2 billion general budget.

In addition, funds are provided for peacekeeping and other programs, including UNICEF.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan insists that the U.S. use of financial pressure would be “counterproductive.”

He says he is proposing sweeping changes in the U.N. and that financial jaw-boning by the U.S. would interfere with his efforts.

Mr. Annan should be reminded that the U.N. can easily avoid that interference by simply agreeing not to assign foxes to guard the human rights hen house and to reduce its bloated bureaucracy by eliminating worthless programs.

Unfortunately, President George Bush is not supporting the measure now before the House International Relations Committee.

Mr. Bush might do well to reconsider his position. Threats to “cut off your federal money” has been awfully effective at home in convincing states, counties and school systems to toe the Washington line.

Published in Editorials on May 24, 2005 12:00 PM