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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 June 4, 1999 by Brett D. Schaefer Congress Should Hold the Line on U.N. Reform

    Congress is coming under increasing pressure2 to pay the arrears of the United States to the United Nations (U.N.) in the amount of $1.293 billion. Much confusion surrounds the debate on this issue; the U.N., the U.S. Department of State, and Congress disagree even on how much the United States actually "owes." The Department of State, for example, calculates the…

  • 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…

  • WebMemo posted June 13, 2006 by Brett D. Schaefer, Nile Gardiner Ph.D. Malloch Brown Is Wrong: The U.S. Should Press Even Harder for UN Reform

    In a June 6 speech before the Center for American Progress and the Century Foundation, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown gave voice to the displeasure of many at the United Nations over the U.S. insistence that the world organization be dramatically reformed. In unprecedented criticism of the government of a member nation, Malloch Brown…

  • Lecture posted September 7, 2005 by The Honorable Ellen R. Sauerbrey Freeing Women from Exploitation and Despair

    Imagine a terrible plague--a devastating disease--descending on and ripping apart the fabric of your community, killing, crippling, or otherwise disabling half of your friends, family, and neighbors. Beyond the human pain and suffering this would cause, consider the incredible impact it would have on your community's ability to thrive. How could the economy grow?…

  • Lecture posted June 27, 2003 by Roger Scruton The United States, the United Nations, and the Future of the Nation-State

    MATTHEW SPALDING: Our lecture today is part of the Russell Kirk Memorial Lectures series, named for Russell Kirk, the author, scholar, critic, and political essayist. It consists of several lectures each year about what Dr. Kirk often referred to as the permanent things: community, religion, knowledge, wisdom, literature, history, virtue, the family. One might…

  • Backgrounder posted February 5, 1999 by Lee A. Casey, David B. Rivkin The International Criminal Court vs. the American People

    On July 17, 1998, a treaty creating a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate, try, and punish individuals who violate certain international human rights norms1 was adopted at a United Nations-sponsored conference in Rome. The treaty was adopted over the objections of the U.S. delegation.2 The Clinton Administration rightly voted against the…

  • Backgrounder posted October 27, 2003 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Baker Spring Reform the United Nations

    President George W. Bush's major address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 23 was a powerful wake-up call for an organization that is in danger of becoming an outdated irrelevance on the world stage. At the dawn of the 21st century, the United Nations looks more like a glorified debating society than a serious global body designed to…

Find more work 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…

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