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United Nations

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  • Issue Brief posted July 23, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Ambassador Terry Miller U.N. Repeating Past Mistakes in New Sustainable Development Goals

    The United Nation General Assembly is poised to adopt a new set of development criteria called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this September.[1] The SDGs are intended to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expire at the end of 2015. Like the MDGs, the SDGs will involve a number of objectives that will be used by the U.N. to guide and measure…

  • Commentary posted July 15, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. At the U.N., An Ever So Small Win Against Gun Control

    If you’ve never attended what’s commonly described as a debate at the United Nations, you might believe that the U.N. actually proceeds by debate. You would be wrong. Much of what happens is cut and dried well in advance. This week’s “Programme of Action” meeting on the illicit small-arms trade, for example — the PoA I began describing on the Corner yesterday — published…

  • Commentary posted July 15, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. At NGO Day at the U.N. Programme of Action, Forthright Talk from Canada

    Today’s meeting of the U.N.’s Programme of Action on Small Arms (PoA) focused on statements by non-governmental organizations. As far as the conservative organizations go, the direct impact of these is minimal: most everyone else in the room is on the other team. But these statements do serve the vital purpose of reminding even the most committed U.N. gun-controllers…

  • Commentary posted July 2, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. At the Close of the U.N.’s Programme of Action, Wins—and a Few Losses—For the U.S.

    The U.N. Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA), which I’ve been covered for the Corner over the past week, wrapped up on Friday afternoon with a consensus outcome — i.e., one that’s unanimously tolerated, if not unanimously liked. In the field of firearms, nothing that the U.N. does can be genuinely good for the U.S., but as these things go, the PoA…

  • Commentary posted July 2, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. The U.N.’s Unique Species of Hypocrisy, Arms-Trafficking Edition

    It would be a wearying task to catalog every kind of hypocrisy on display at this week’s meeting of the U.N.’s Programme of Action on Small Arms — the PoA, where the main issues I set out for the Corner yesterday continue to be a focus of discussion. But the main principal species of lies, evasions, and question-begging at Turtle Bay are worth recording, precisely because…

  • Backgrounder posted June 26, 2014 by Steven Groves Accession to Convention on the Law of the Sea Unnecessary to Advance Arctic Interests

    Much has been said in recent years about a “race” or “scramble” to secure resources in the Arctic Ocean as polar ice recedes, inevitably leading to conflict in the region. But reality paints a very different picture. Over the past decades, Arctic nations have worked together to advance their shared goals for the region, and relations among the United States and other…

  • Commentary posted June 19, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. On Firearms, the U.S. Needs Allies at the U.N.

    The topic has shifted at this week’s meeting of the U.N.’s Programme of Action on Small Arms (PoA). The focus on Wednesday was on the provision of foreign aid — undoubtedly a major reason why many nations are in the room. As the discussion unfolds, it’s hard to ignore just how isolated the U.S. is at the U.N. on firearms issues, and, on a related issue, just how little…

  • Commentary posted June 16, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. The U.N.’s Biennial Surreptitious Gun-Control Conference Begins

    The “Programme of Action” — which starts its fifth biennial meeting in New York today — is a classic U.N. institution, in that it manages to combine a complete lack of substantive accomplishments with sinister intentions. Commonly and mercifully abbreviated as the PoA, it’s properly the “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small…

  • Issue Brief posted June 13, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. U.S. Participation in the U.N.’s “Programme of Action” on Small Arms and Light Weapons Is Not in the National Interest

    The fifth biennial meeting of the U.N. “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects” (PoA) will be held on June 16–20, 2014. The PoA includes a range of commitments on which participating nations have agreed to report. It is not a treaty but, in theory, a mechanism for encouraging voluntary…

  • 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…

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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…

  • WebMemo posted August 13, 2010 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Funding of the United Nations Reaches All-Time High

    The source and amounts of all U.S. funding to the myriad number of organizations affiliated with the United Nations are difficult to track accurately. This difficulty prompted Congress to pass legislation requiring the Administration to report annually on U.S. contributions to the U.N. A recent report to Congress by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on all U.S.…

  • Issue Brief posted July 23, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Ambassador Terry Miller U.N. Repeating Past Mistakes in New Sustainable Development Goals

    The United Nation General Assembly is poised to adopt a new set of development criteria called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this September.[1] The SDGs are intended to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expire at the end of 2015. Like the MDGs, the SDGs will involve a number of objectives that will be used by the U.N. to guide and measure…

  • Issue Brief posted January 14, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. After U.S. Signature, Dangers of U.N. Arms Trade Treaty Begin to Surface

    After U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry signed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in September, a bipartisan majority of the Senate stated its opposition to ratifying the treaty. Over the past months, the dangers of the ATT have become increasingly obvious, and supporters of the treaty have been increasingly assertive in their claims and their criticism of the United…

  • Lecture posted February 3, 2011 by Brett D. Schaefer United Nations: Urgent Problems That Need Congressional Action

    Abstract: The United Nations has largely failed to maintain international peace and security, promote self-determination and basic human rights, and protect fundamental freedoms. While the conflicting interests of member states have led to many of these failures, the U.N. system itself is partly to blame. The U.N. and its affiliated organizations are plagued by outdated…

  • Backgrounder posted November 4, 2013 by Bruce Klingner Time to Get North Korean Sanctions Right

    Responding to North Korea’s third nuclear test in 2013, President Barack Obama declared that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was a “threat to the U.S. national security and to international peace and security.”[1] The U.N. Security Council similarly warned that North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats posed “a clear threat to international peace and security.”[2]…

  • Testimony posted by Steven Groves The Law of the Sea: Costs of U.S. Accession to UNCLOS

    Hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations June 14, 2012 Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee: Thank you for inviting me to testify before you today regarding the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS, like any complex treaty or piece of legislation, should be thoroughly examined by the…

  • Issue Brief posted September 13, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Challenge Huge U.N. Funding Disparities

    It is well established that the vast majority of United Nations member states pay far less in dues than the United States pays, but the disparity is greater than most realize. Taking U.N. travel subsidies into account, two dozen countries pay roughly $1,000 or less in net contributions to the U.N. regular budget each year while enjoying the same voting privileges as the…

  • Backgrounder posted June 26, 2014 by Steven Groves Accession to Convention on the Law of the Sea Unnecessary to Advance Arctic Interests

    Much has been said in recent years about a “race” or “scramble” to secure resources in the Arctic Ocean as polar ice recedes, inevitably leading to conflict in the region. But reality paints a very different picture. Over the past decades, Arctic nations have worked together to advance their shared goals for the region, and relations among the United States and other…

  • Backgrounder posted December 1, 2011 by Wendell Cox, Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D., Brett D. Schaefer Focus on Agenda 21 Should Not Divert Attention from Homegrown Anti-Growth Policies

    Abstract: Agenda 21, a voluntary plan adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, unabashedly calls on governments to intervene and regulate nearly every potential impact that human activity could have on the environment. However, Agenda 21 is non-binding; it depends on governments for implementation. If opponents focus…

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  • Issue Brief posted July 23, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Ambassador Terry Miller U.N. Repeating Past Mistakes in New Sustainable Development Goals

    The United Nation General Assembly is poised to adopt a new set of development criteria called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this September.[1] The SDGs are intended to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expire at the end of 2015. Like the MDGs, the SDGs will involve a number of objectives that will be used by the U.N. to guide and measure…

  • Backgrounder posted June 26, 2014 by Steven Groves Accession to Convention on the Law of the Sea Unnecessary to Advance Arctic Interests

    Much has been said in recent years about a “race” or “scramble” to secure resources in the Arctic Ocean as polar ice recedes, inevitably leading to conflict in the region. But reality paints a very different picture. Over the past decades, Arctic nations have worked together to advance their shared goals for the region, and relations among the United States and other…

  • Issue Brief posted June 13, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. U.S. Participation in the U.N.’s “Programme of Action” on Small Arms and Light Weapons Is Not in the National Interest

    The fifth biennial meeting of the U.N. “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects” (PoA) will be held on June 16–20, 2014. The PoA includes a range of commitments on which participating nations have agreed to report. It is not a treaty but, in theory, a mechanism for encouraging voluntary…

  • 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 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 March 11, 2014 by Steven Groves, Brett D. Schaefer Human Rights Committee’s Review of U.S. Record: Things to Watch For

    On March 13–14, a U.S. delegation will defend America’s human rights record before the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the treaty body that monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The delegation should expect harsh criticism from the HRC, whose members regularly accuse America of committing gross violations of human rights.…

  • 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 January 14, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. After U.S. Signature, Dangers of U.N. Arms Trade Treaty Begin to Surface

    After U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry signed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in September, a bipartisan majority of the Senate stated its opposition to ratifying the treaty. Over the past months, the dangers of the ATT have become increasingly obvious, and supporters of the treaty have been increasingly assertive in their claims and their criticism of the United…

  • Issue Brief posted December 20, 2013 by David Inserra Preserving Freedom Online: The U.S. Should Reject the U.N.’s Authoritarian Control of the Internet

    The explosion of Internet capabilities, specifically over the past seven years, has engendered seismic shifts in societies around the globe. This dynamic game changer challenges the economic and political status quo by providing a venue for sharing ideas and practicing innovation. According to a 2011 report by the McKinsey Global Institute, the Internet “accounted for 21…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Lead Effort to Arrest Excessive U.N. Pay

    Pay of United Nations professional and higher level staff has risen sharply over the past few years in comparison to equivalent positions in the United States federal civil service. U.N. pay is supposed to be based on those of equivalent U.S. civil servants. The discrepancy has arisen, in part, because U.S. pay has been frozen in response to America’s budgetary crisis…

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Find more work on United Nations