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International Organizations

The United States belongs to dozens of multilateral organizations, from large and well-known organizations such as NATO, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the United Nations to relatively small niche organizations such as the Universal Postal Union and the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. The FY 2011 request for “Contributions to International Organizations” under the U.S. Department of State budget included line items for U.S. contributions to some fifty distinct international organizations and budgets. The decisions and policies of these organizations directly and indirectly impact U.S. foreign policy, security and commercial interests. The U.S. should use its influence in these organizations to ensure that American interests are protected.

Our Research & Offerings on International Organizations
  • Issue Brief posted July 2, 2014 by Romina Boccia The IMF Is Following the Obama Administration’s Playbook on the Federal Budget

    The International Monetary Fund’s report on its 2014 Article IV Consultation with the United States risks encouraging inaction by U.S. lawmakers on adopting structural entitlement reforms to control U.S. spending and debt growth. The IMF report suggests institutional budget reforms to “lessen fiscal policy uncertainty,” citing “recent experience of debt ceiling…

  • Issue Brief posted April 30, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves, James Phillips Palestinian Intent to Accede to 15 Treaties and U.S. Response

    President Mahmoud Abbas announced on April 1 that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will seek to join 15 international conventions and treaties. This is a new facet of the existing Palestinian policy of seeking international recognition by other governments and membership in international organizations to bolster claims of statehood absent a negotiated peace treaty with…

  • Issue Brief posted April 23, 2014 by Ana Quintana Crisis in Venezuela: UNASUR and U.S. Foreign Policy

    Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress not to respond to the Venezuelan government’s deadly crackdown against the democratic opposition. Recent high-level talks between the Venezuelan government and select members of the opposition have led the Secretary to mistakenly believe that the crisis will soon end. Additionally, he urged Congress to avoid…

  • Issue Brief posted March 24, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer 11 Issues for Congress in the President’s FY 2015 International Affairs Budget Request

    President Barack Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposal on March 4, 2014. Although much of the budget reflects long-standing programmatic and budgetary practice, there are 11 specific issues that Congress should address. The President’s FY 2015 budget request for International Affairs (IA) totals $50.01 billion, including a base budget of $44.1 billion…

  • Issue Brief posted February 26, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Demand Increased Transparency and Accountability as U.N. Revenues Rise

    United Nations system revenues nearly tripled between 2002 and 2012 from nearly $15 billion to $41.5 billion. Cumulatively, the U.N. received more than $312 billion over that period. The U.S. has been and remains the U.N. system’s largest contributor, providing approximately one-fifth of total contributions on average annually over that period. Incomplete data make a…

  • Issue Brief posted December 20, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Needs Financial Leverage to Hold Line on U.N. Budget

    The United Nations’ regular budget has grown reliably over the past six decades, with particularly sharp growth over the past decade. Last year seemed promising, as the initial U.N. regular budget for 2012–2013 was lower than the final expenditures for the previous biennial budget. However, that reduction was largely achieved through the negotiating gimmick of deferring…

  • Issue Brief posted October 19, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Withdraw from UNESCO

    Last fall, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) granted membership to the Palestinian Authority. It did so despite clear warnings from Washington that this would necessitate an immediate freeze on all U.S. funding to the agency. Subsequently, President Obama stopped all U.S. financial contributions to the organization as required…

  • Backgrounder posted August 6, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer United Nations: Credits Owed Should Be Returned to Member States

    Abstract: For years, the United Nations has retained surplus appropriations for closed peacekeeping operations and credits owed to the U.S. from the Tax Equalization Fund. U.N. financial rules and regulations state that the U.N. should “surrender” these funds (reimburse or credit them toward related assessments) after a specified period. Instead, the U.N. has retained…

  • Issue Brief posted July 31, 2012 by Morgan Lorraine Roach, Brett D. Schaefer How the New African Union Leadership Should Improve the Organization

    For the African Union (AU) Commission, the election earlier this month of South Africa’s Home Affairs minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as chair offers a chance to address issues that have hindered the organization’s image and its impact on the continent. The new leader should provide leadership in pressing the organization to respond more effectively to the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 19, 2012 by Ambassador Terry Miller, Anthony B. Kim Advancing Economic Freedom Through the World Bank: A Worthy Goal for Jim Yong Kim

    On April 16, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, president of Dartmouth College, was elected as the next president of the World Bank. Kim, a physician with a background in public health, prevailed after an unusual race contested by two highly regarded economists from Nigeria and Colombia. Kim’s background raises plenty of questions regarding his suitability for the job and particularly his…

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  • Backgrounder posted August 18, 2009 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves The U.S. Should Not Join the International Criminal Court

    The idea of establishing an international court to prosecute serious international crimes--war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide--has long held a special place in the hearts of human rights activists and those hoping to hold perpetrators of terrible crimes to account. In 1998, that idea became reality when the Rome Statute of the International Criminal…

  • Backgrounder posted May 16, 1996 by Bryan T. Johnson The World Bank and Economic Growth: 50 Years of Failure

    Map 1: Countries Receiving World Bank Loans for 25 years or LongerTable 1: Economic Growth Rates of Recipients of World Bank Loans, Algeria - LesothoTable 1: Economic Growth Rates of Recipients if World Bank Loans, continued, Madagascar - ZambiaTable 2: How Long Term Recipients of World Bank Loans Rate on Economic FreedomTable 3: Economic Growth and Government…

  • Commentary posted October 25, 2007 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. Happy UNday?

    As overpaid and under worked United Nations bureaucrats quaff champagne and feast on canapés and shrimp in Turtle Bay to celebrate U.N. Day, it is important for the world to remember those who have been failed by the organization, or have suffered at its hands. They include: the one million Tutsis slaughtered by Hutus in the Rwanda genocide of 1994 while U.N.…

  • Backgrounder posted September 11, 1984 by Melanie L. A U.N. Success Story: The World's Fattest Pensions

    (Archived document, may contain errors) 378 September 11, 1984 4 A U.N. SUCCESS STORY THE. WORLD'S FATTEST PENSlONS INTRODUCTION Though most of the U.N.'s activities are controversial there is one thing on which just about everyone agrees--the U.N is a very generous employer It pays its sprawling bureaucracy more than probably any government in the world pays…

  • Backgrounder posted January 17, 2002 by Brett D. Schaefer U.N. Treaties and Conferences Will Not Stop Terrorism

    At the conclusion of the United Nations' October 2001 Plenary Meetings on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, the President of the U.N. General Assembly stated that the "primary task facing the international community at present is to ensure that an effective legal framework for the prevention and elimination of international terrorism is in place."1 These…

  • Backgrounder posted September 17, 2003 by Ana I. Eiras IMF and World Bank Intervention: A Problem, Not a Solution

    On September 23, 2003, the World Bank Group and the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will meet in Dubai to discuss the work of their respective institutions in international monetary and development issues. This meeting would be worth its high expense if the discussion were centered on these institutions' own reform rather than on how they…

  • Executive Memorandum posted July 2, 1998 by Brett D. Schaefer The International Criminal Court: Threatening U.S. Sovereignty and Security

    Diplomats from over 150 countries began negotiations in Rome on June 15 to finalize the language and adopt a convention to establish an International Criminal Court (ICC). Supporters of this court, including the American Bar Association and various human rights groups, claim that it is necessary to bring despots and criminals to justice for crimes that are…

  • Lecture posted December 4, 2007 by Brett D. Schaefer Who Leads the United Nations?

    Delivered October 16, 2007 The title of this lecture is an interesting starting point for a discussion. I think the answer differs depending on who you ask. My answer would be that no one "leads" the U.N. Certainly, the Secretary-Gen­eral does not lead the organization. Not even former Secretary-General Kofi Annan--described as a "secu­lar pope" and the…

  • WebMemo posted July 13, 2007 by Steven Groves, Brian W. Walsh Dispelling Misconceptions: Guantanamo Bay Detainee ProceduresExceed the Requirements of the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Law, andCustomary International Law

    Human rights activists, liberal media outlets, and Bush Administration critics have derisively characterized the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the "gulag of our times,"[1] a "legal black hole,"[2] and a "stain on our nation's character."[3] One need not dig too deeply into the facts, however, to discover that the detainees held at…

  • WebMemo posted May 11, 2009 by Brett D. Schaefer The Obama Administration Will Not Make the U.N. Human Rights Council Effective

    Elections for rotating membership on the 47-nation United Nations Human Rights Council will take place in the U.N. General Assembly on May 12.[1] While the U.S. is virtually assured of election to the council, having an American representative is unlikely to improve the council's dismal record. On the contrary, the U.S. presence will only give undue legitimacy…

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  • Issue Brief posted July 2, 2014 by Romina Boccia The IMF Is Following the Obama Administration’s Playbook on the Federal Budget

    The International Monetary Fund’s report on its 2014 Article IV Consultation with the United States risks encouraging inaction by U.S. lawmakers on adopting structural entitlement reforms to control U.S. spending and debt growth. The IMF report suggests institutional budget reforms to “lessen fiscal policy uncertainty,” citing “recent experience of debt ceiling…

  • Issue Brief posted April 30, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves, James Phillips Palestinian Intent to Accede to 15 Treaties and U.S. Response

    President Mahmoud Abbas announced on April 1 that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will seek to join 15 international conventions and treaties. This is a new facet of the existing Palestinian policy of seeking international recognition by other governments and membership in international organizations to bolster claims of statehood absent a negotiated peace treaty with…

  • Issue Brief posted April 23, 2014 by Ana Quintana Crisis in Venezuela: UNASUR and U.S. Foreign Policy

    Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress not to respond to the Venezuelan government’s deadly crackdown against the democratic opposition. Recent high-level talks between the Venezuelan government and select members of the opposition have led the Secretary to mistakenly believe that the crisis will soon end. Additionally, he urged Congress to avoid…

  • Issue Brief posted March 24, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer 11 Issues for Congress in the President’s FY 2015 International Affairs Budget Request

    President Barack Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposal on March 4, 2014. Although much of the budget reflects long-standing programmatic and budgetary practice, there are 11 specific issues that Congress should address. The President’s FY 2015 budget request for International Affairs (IA) totals $50.01 billion, including a base budget of $44.1 billion…

  • Issue Brief posted February 26, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Demand Increased Transparency and Accountability as U.N. Revenues Rise

    United Nations system revenues nearly tripled between 2002 and 2012 from nearly $15 billion to $41.5 billion. Cumulatively, the U.N. received more than $312 billion over that period. The U.S. has been and remains the U.N. system’s largest contributor, providing approximately one-fifth of total contributions on average annually over that period. Incomplete data make a…

  • Issue Brief posted December 20, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Needs Financial Leverage to Hold Line on U.N. Budget

    The United Nations’ regular budget has grown reliably over the past six decades, with particularly sharp growth over the past decade. Last year seemed promising, as the initial U.N. regular budget for 2012–2013 was lower than the final expenditures for the previous biennial budget. However, that reduction was largely achieved through the negotiating gimmick of deferring…

  • Issue Brief posted October 19, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Withdraw from UNESCO

    Last fall, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) granted membership to the Palestinian Authority. It did so despite clear warnings from Washington that this would necessitate an immediate freeze on all U.S. funding to the agency. Subsequently, President Obama stopped all U.S. financial contributions to the organization as required…

  • Backgrounder posted August 6, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer United Nations: Credits Owed Should Be Returned to Member States

    Abstract: For years, the United Nations has retained surplus appropriations for closed peacekeeping operations and credits owed to the U.S. from the Tax Equalization Fund. U.N. financial rules and regulations state that the U.N. should “surrender” these funds (reimburse or credit them toward related assessments) after a specified period. Instead, the U.N. has retained…

  • Issue Brief posted July 31, 2012 by Morgan Lorraine Roach, Brett D. Schaefer How the New African Union Leadership Should Improve the Organization

    For the African Union (AU) Commission, the election earlier this month of South Africa’s Home Affairs minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as chair offers a chance to address issues that have hindered the organization’s image and its impact on the continent. The new leader should provide leadership in pressing the organization to respond more effectively to the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 19, 2012 by Ambassador Terry Miller, Anthony B. Kim Advancing Economic Freedom Through the World Bank: A Worthy Goal for Jim Yong Kim

    On April 16, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, president of Dartmouth College, was elected as the next president of the World Bank. Kim, a physician with a background in public health, prevailed after an unusual race contested by two highly regarded economists from Nigeria and Colombia. Kim’s background raises plenty of questions regarding his suitability for the job and particularly his…

Find more work on International Organizations
Find more work on International Organizations