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  • Issue Brief posted October 29, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Not Rejoin the United Nations Industrial Development Organization

    The United States withdrew from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in 1996 after concluding that the organization lacked a clear purpose and was generally ineffective. With support from the Clinton Administration, Congress refused to pay arrears that the organization claims are owed by the United States. Since this decision, UNIDO has…

  • Commentary posted September 30, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Obama's UN Speech Reveals Why Arms Trade Treaty is so Dangerous

    Addressing the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, President Obama said that all nations “must meet our responsibility to observe and enforce international norms.” What he meant by that wasn’t exactly clear, starting with what those norms are, and who gets to define them. But that kind of thinking on the president’s part is precisely why the United Nations Arms Trade…

  • Commentary posted September 26, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer Obama Reveals America’s Greatest Threat is Climate Change. Really?

    At the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, President Barack Obama offered a stunning -- in fact, deeply disturbing -- insight into his views on threats to the United States and the American people. According to Obama, “For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week -- terrorism, instability, inequality, disease -- there’s one issue that…

  • Issue Brief posted September 22, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer A U.S. Agenda for the 69th Session of the U.N. General Assembly

    The 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially opened on September 16. The early part of the UNGA session, generally highlighted by a high-level summit and the theatrics of the General Debate featuring speeches by most of the world’s leaders, garners a great deal of media attention that quickly falters once the real grind of the session begins.…

  • Commentary posted September 16, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Want to know what UN thinks of 'democracy'? Just look at its Arms Trade Treaty

    As the United Nations starts to celebrate its 70th anniversary, it’s showing Americans the kind of openness it really believes in. The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a controversial effort that is highly sensitive in the U.S. due to Second Amendment concerns and worries about its impact on U.S. foreign policy, is nearing the fifty ratifications it needs to come into…

  • Commentary posted September 10, 2014 by Anthony B. Kim, Brett D. Schaefer Why are we aiding countries that oppose U.S. priorities at the United Nations?

    Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick was frustrated. Countries happily took American foreign aid, but then blithely opposed U.S. initiatives and priorities in the United Nations. They took U.S. aid for granted because previous opposition hadn’t affected U.S. aid decisions and, instead, yielded to pressure from other countries to present regional solidarity and overwhelmingly…

  • 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. 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…

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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…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted June 19, 2008 by John J. Tkacik, Jr. Taiwan's "Unsettled" International Status: Preserving U.S. Options in the Pacific

    Ma Ying-jeou, inaugurated as Taiwan's new president on May 20, 2008, has pledged to strengthen Taiwan's economic and political relationships with China. At the same time, he has good reason to preserve Taiwan's separate identity, and the U.S. has good reason to support him. Taiwan is one of the most dynamic democracies in Asia and one of America's top 10 trade partners.…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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.…

  • 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…

  • Lecture posted July 18, 2008 by Victor Davis Hanson, Ph.D. In Defense of Liberty: The Relationship Between Security and Freedom

    Delivered June 3, 2008 Nile Gardiner, Ph.D.: Good morning. Welcome to the Heritage Foundation and the fifth Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lecture. The Margaret Thatcher Lecture series began in Sep­tember 2006, with a major speech by former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky on the subject, "Is Free­dom for Everyone?" It was followed by lectures on economic…

  • Backgrounder posted June 1, 2007 by Brett D. Schaefer The United Nations Human Rights Council: A Disastrous First Year

    The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) was established in 2006 to replace the discredited U.N. Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Despite minimal safeguards against capture of the HRC by human rights abusers-the source of the commis­sion's ineffectiveness-HRC supporters, including U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, were quick to declare that…

  • Backgrounder posted February 3, 2010 by Brett D. Schaefer Time to Rein in the U.N.'s Budget

    Abstract: Since the 2000-2001 biennial budget, the U.N. regular budget has more than doubled, reflecting the U.N.'s failure to adopt reforms to reduce waste, prevent mismanagement and corruption, and increase efficiency. In December 2007, the General Assembly broke with a 20-year tradition of adopting budgetary decisions only by consensus by approving the 2008-2009…

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  • Issue Brief posted October 29, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Not Rejoin the United Nations Industrial Development Organization

    The United States withdrew from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in 1996 after concluding that the organization lacked a clear purpose and was generally ineffective. With support from the Clinton Administration, Congress refused to pay arrears that the organization claims are owed by the United States. Since this decision, UNIDO has…

  • Issue Brief posted September 22, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer A U.S. Agenda for the 69th Session of the U.N. General Assembly

    The 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially opened on September 16. The early part of the UNGA session, generally highlighted by a high-level summit and the theatrics of the General Debate featuring speeches by most of the world’s leaders, garners a great deal of media attention that quickly falters once the real grind of the session begins.…

  • 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…

Find more work on United Nations
Find more work on United Nations