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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 February 12, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. The United States Must Be Ready to Send Weapons to Ukraine

    As Russian-backed forces make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, and as a ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk, Belarus, between Kyiv and Moscow, there is intense debate in Washington about whether to send weapons to the Ukrainian military. There is no reason to believe that the ceasefire agreement will last when many such agreements have failed in the past. At…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2014 by Peter Brookes ‘Green Men’ Returning to Ukraine

    If you haven’t noticed, Team Obama’s policy of “isolating” Russia for its bad behavior in Ukraine isn’t going very well. Indeed, one could say the approach is not only failing, but terribly so. Russia’s on a roll. First, NATO reports that Russian forces — troops, artillery, tanks and air defense systems — recently moved across the border into Ukraine despite a September…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2014 by Peter Brookes ‘Green Men’ Returning to Ukraine

    If you haven’t noticed, Team Obama’s policy of “isolating” Russia for its bad behavior in Ukraine isn’t going very well. Indeed, one could say the approach is not only failing, but terribly so. Russia’s on a roll. First, NATO reports that Russian forces — troops, artillery, tanks and air defense systems — recently moved across the border into Ukraine despite a September…

  • Issue Brief posted October 17, 2014 by David S. Addington Ebola: U.S. Government Civilian and Military Assistance in West Africa

    The U.S. government has substantial efforts under way in West Africa to provide humanitarian assistance to combat the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease and thereby also help prevent the spread of Ebola elsewhere. U.S. government civilians under the direction of the U.S. ambassador, and U.S. military personnel under the Commander of the Joint Force Command (JFC), work…

  • Backgrounder posted September 24, 2014 by Charles "Cully" Stimson A Framework for an Authorization for Use of Military Force Against ISIS

    The Obama Administration is struggling both to define a comprehensive, coordinated strategy to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS),[1] a decade-old al-Qaeda–inspired terrorist organization, and to explain the national and international[2] legal basis for such military action. Some in Congress are considering proposing a joint resolution in the form of an…

  • 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 May 20, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis U.S. Should Condemn Spain and France’s Military Support to the Russian Federation

    As Russia continues to occupy Crimea and back political instability in eastern Ukraine, there are some NATO members that continue to provide Russia with military support. Spain allows the Russian navy use of its ports, and France is selling two amphibious assault ships to Russia. This behavior is unbecoming of 21st-century NATO allies. The U.S. should work with…

  • 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…

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  • Lecture posted August 1, 1994 by Joe Cobb The Real Threat to U.S. Sovereignty

    The new GATT agreement and the proposed World Trade Organization (WTO) has sparked a vigorous debate among conservatives in this country, and in some cases the argument has taken on an ugly tone. Last year H.Ross Perot was so visible during the NAFTA debate that I think some conservatives look upon his populist-oriented followers as potentially natural recruits for…

  • WebMemo posted November 10, 2005 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. The Final Volcker Oil for Food Report: An Assessment

    The $34 million U.N.-appointed Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) issued its fifth and final report on October 27.[1] The 18-month investigation, chaired by Paul Volcker, has documented a huge amount of evidence regarding manipulation of the $60 billion Oil-for-Food Program by the Saddam Hussein regime with the complicity of more than 2,200 companies in 66 countries…

  • Backgrounder posted October 24, 2002 by Paolo Pasicolan, Balbina Y. Hwang, Ph.D. The Vital Role of Alliances in the Global War on Terrorism

    If Washington manages both impending military action against Iraq and the ongoing war on terrorism in the same manner, international accusations of "unilateralism"1 should fade. Were the United States truly acting unilaterally, it would be pursuing solely American national interests, and no other country would participate. But as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld…

  • Backgrounder posted February 5, 2001 by Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D. How U.N. Conventions On Women's and Children's Rights UndermineFamily, Religion, and Sovereignty

    Few Americans are aware that agencies within the United Nations system are involved in a campaign to undermine the foundations of society--the two-parent married family, religions that espouse the primary importance of marriage and traditional sexual morality, and the legal and social structures that protect these institutions.1 Using the political cover…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted January 11, 2005 by Brett D. Schaefer 'Unilateralism' Saved Lives In Asia

    The world is in a "race against time" to prevent a sharp rise in the number of deaths resulting from the devastating Dec. 26 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said at a Jan. 6 summit of world leaders in Jakarta, Indonesia. Yes, Jan. 6 -- 11 days after the tsunami first hit and after an estimated 150,000 people had died. It…

  • Backgrounder posted October 22, 1999 by Brett D. Schaefer Does U.S. Foreign Assistance Elicit Support for U.S. Policy? Not at the United Nations

    With President Bill Clinton's veto of the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill on October 18, 1999, Congress will be forced to consider foreign assistance appropriations again this year. Congress had included $12.7 billion in appropriations for foreign assistance and international organizations in this bill, nearly $2 billion less than the Administration had…

  • WebMemo posted October 25, 2005 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. George Galloway and the Oil-for-Food Scandal: Time for U.S. and British Inquiries

    The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) today unveiled new evidence on British Member of Parliament George Galloway's involvement in the Iraqi Oil-for-Food scandal.[1] This latest report is a direct response to Mr. Galloway's testimony before the subcommittee on May 17, 2005. Galloway then firmly denied soliciting or receiving allocations of Iraqi…

  • Backgrounder posted March 10, 1983 by Thomas G. The IPDC: UNESCO vs. the Free Press

    (Archived document, may contain errors) 253 M arch 10, 1983 THE IPDC: UNESCO vs. THE FREE PRESS 8 INTRODUCTION For the champions of a free press, it may have been like awakening from a bad dream. The Third Session of the International Programme for the Development of Communication, better known as th e IPDC, had just adjourned in Paris at the headquarters of…

  • Backgrounder posted March 6, 2008 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Boycott the U.N.'s Durban II Conference on Racism

    The Bush Administration has taken a strong line in its opposition to the 2009 Durban Review Confer­ence, commonly referred to as "Durban II." Durban II is the follow-up meeting to the disastrous United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001. The 2001 con­ference fell…

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  • Issue Brief posted October 17, 2014 by David S. Addington Ebola: U.S. Government Civilian and Military Assistance in West Africa

    The U.S. government has substantial efforts under way in West Africa to provide humanitarian assistance to combat the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease and thereby also help prevent the spread of Ebola elsewhere. U.S. government civilians under the direction of the U.S. ambassador, and U.S. military personnel under the Commander of the Joint Force Command (JFC), work…

  • 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…

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