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United Nations Reform

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  • Backgrounder posted August 3, 2016 by Brett D. Schaefer United Nations Peacekeeping Flaws and Abuses: The U.S. Must Demand Reform

    As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and the largest contributor to the U.N. peacekeeping budget, the United States has extraordinary authority over the approval and parameters of those operations, and a responsibility to ensure that the missions are effective, and that peacekeepers uphold the highest standards of conduct. The unprecedented pace,…

  • Backgrounder posted July 7, 2016 by Paul Winfree Causes of the Federal Government’s Unsustainable Spending

    In all but five of the past 50 years, the budget of the United States has been in cash deficit.[1] For example, in 2015, the federal government ran a cash deficit of $438 billion—after collecting $3,250 billion in revenues and spending $3,688 billion.[2] The continuous level of deficit spending has increased public debt, which, during the same period, rose from 33.7…

  • Commentary posted February 29, 2016 by Romina Boccia Restoring Fairness and Common Sense to the Federal Budget

    With $19 trillion in national debt, is balancing the budget without raising taxes even possible anymore? You bet it is. By reducing spending on the key drivers of the deficit and debt, and reprioritizing annual spending so it goes toward more important uses, The Heritage Foundation's Blueprint for Balance turns deficits into surpluses. And it does this while cutting…

  • Backgrounder posted December 4, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Daren Bakst, Rachel Sheffield, James Phillips, Diane Katz, Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb, Roger Severino, Sarah Torre, Lindsey Burke, James Sherk, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Brett D. Schaefer, David Inserra Important Policy Riders for the FY 2016 Appropriations Bills

    The Constitution unequivocally grants Congress the exclusive power to appropriate funds for the “necessary and proper” operations of government.[1] James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 58 that providing budgetary powers to Congress was a critical element in maintaining individual rights: “The power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and…

  • Issue Brief posted November 9, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Support Effort to Reduce U.N. Staff Costs

    Salaries, benefits, and allowances of United Nations professional and higher level staff have risen sharply over the past decade in comparison with equivalent positions in the United States federal civil service. U.N. salaries are supposed to be based on those of equivalent civil servants, but are actually more generous than the salaries that member states, including the…

  • Issue Brief posted October 20, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., David Inserra The Rising Tide of Migrants and Refugees: Due Diligence and Adherence to Law Required

    Europe has been dealing with an overwhelming influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and other areas. What is often called the Syrian refugee crisis involves the largest numbers of migrating people that Europe has seen since World War II. The vast number of refugees—Germany alone is expecting up to 1.5 million people by the end of the year[1]—will eventually…

  • Backgrounder posted June 11, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Push for Fundamental Changes to the United Nations Scale of Assessments

    Every three years, the member states of the United Nations negotiate how to apportion the expenses of the U.N. regular budget and the peacekeeping budget. These negotiations center on the U.N. “scale of assessments,” which assigns a specific percentage of the budgets to each member state, broadly based on its capacity to pay as calculated from its gross national income…

  • First Principles Series Report posted June 2, 2015 by Justin D. Lyons Champion of Liberty: Winston Churchill and His Message to America

    2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston S. Churchill. Dwight D. Eisenhower, fortified by memories of long association and collaboration with Churchill through cataclysmic events, wrote a remembrance for National Geographic: “When Sir Winston Churchill died on January 24, 1965, full of years and honors, the entire world quickened with emotions of grief…

  • Testimony posted May 6, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer Key Issues of U.S. Concern at the United Nations

    Testimony before Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy, and Environmental Policy Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate May 6, 2015 Brett D. Schaefer Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs The Heritage Foundation My name is Brett Schaefer. I am the Jay…

  • Backgrounder posted March 26, 2015 by Romina Boccia, Michael Sargent $4 Trillion and Counting: President Obama’s 2016 Budget Presents a Vision of Government Largess

    For the first time since 2010, President Obama released his annual budget on time.[1] Such punctuality is a welcome step toward normalcy in the budget process, though one wonders why it took five years for the Administration to adhere to the statutory deadline. Aside from its timeliness, there is little good that can be said about the President’s 2016 budget. Obama’s…

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  • First Principles Series Report posted June 2, 2015 by Justin D. Lyons Champion of Liberty: Winston Churchill and His Message to America

    2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston S. Churchill. Dwight D. Eisenhower, fortified by memories of long association and collaboration with Churchill through cataclysmic events, wrote a remembrance for National Geographic: “When Sir Winston Churchill died on January 24, 1965, full of years and honors, the entire world quickened with emotions of grief…

  • Backgrounder posted June 11, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Push for Fundamental Changes to the United Nations Scale of Assessments

    Every three years, the member states of the United Nations negotiate how to apportion the expenses of the U.N. regular budget and the peacekeeping budget. These negotiations center on the U.N. “scale of assessments,” which assigns a specific percentage of the budgets to each member state, broadly based on its capacity to pay as calculated from its gross national income…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer Who Needs UNIDO?

    The United States did something highly unusual 18 years ago. It withdrew from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The move came after lengthy assessment concluded that UNIDO lacked a clear purpose and was generally ineffective. What made the action all the more remarkable was that it was done at the direction of Democratic President Bill…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted April 18, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Must Demand Transparency and Accountability in Appointment of Top-Level U.N. Officials

    Under the tenure of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the number of the highest-ranking U.N. officials has increased by an average of 35 percent (a 47 percent increase in New York and a 27 percent increase elsewhere). This expansion of top-level officials is troubling for a number of reasons, including lack of transparency in the nominating process,…

  • Issue Brief posted November 9, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Support Effort to Reduce U.N. Staff Costs

    Salaries, benefits, and allowances of United Nations professional and higher level staff have risen sharply over the past decade in comparison with equivalent positions in the United States federal civil service. U.N. salaries are supposed to be based on those of equivalent civil servants, but are actually more generous than the salaries that member states, including the…

  • Testimony posted May 6, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer Key Issues of U.S. Concern at the United Nations

    Testimony before Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy, and Environmental Policy Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate May 6, 2015 Brett D. Schaefer Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs The Heritage Foundation My name is Brett Schaefer. I am the Jay…

  • WebMemo posted March 15, 2011 by Brett D. Schaefer Congressional Hearings Offer Opportunity for U.N. Budgetary Scrutiny

    The United States is facing a budgetary crisis. In the coming months and years, Congress and the Administration will grapple with tough decisions on where to reduce spending and by how much. Although U.S. contributions to the U.N. system are not a large part of the budget, there is no reason to exclude these contributions from budgetary scrutiny. Indeed, even U.N.…

  • WebMemo posted April 25, 2011 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Must Maximize Its Influence over U.N. Budgetary Decisions

    In recognition of budgetary constraints in America and other nations, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced that he will seek a 3 percent cut in his proposed biennial budget for 2012–2013. This cut and his proposals for implementing it fall far short of those necessary to make a lasting budgetary impact. The U.S. should make clear its demands for substantial…

  • WebMemo posted April 20, 2011 by Brett D. Schaefer Cuts in U.S. Contributions Necessitate Budget Austerity at the U.N.

    In growing recognition of the mounting budgetary crisis facing the United States, President Barack Obama and Congress reached agreement on a budget to pay for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 that includes significant cuts. Although contributions to the United Nations are not a large part of the U.S. budget, there is no reason to exclude those contributions from the…

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  • Backgrounder posted August 3, 2016 by Brett D. Schaefer United Nations Peacekeeping Flaws and Abuses: The U.S. Must Demand Reform

    As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and the largest contributor to the U.N. peacekeeping budget, the United States has extraordinary authority over the approval and parameters of those operations, and a responsibility to ensure that the missions are effective, and that peacekeepers uphold the highest standards of conduct. The unprecedented pace,…

  • Issue Brief posted November 9, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Support Effort to Reduce U.N. Staff Costs

    Salaries, benefits, and allowances of United Nations professional and higher level staff have risen sharply over the past decade in comparison with equivalent positions in the United States federal civil service. U.N. salaries are supposed to be based on those of equivalent civil servants, but are actually more generous than the salaries that member states, including the…

  • Backgrounder posted June 11, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Push for Fundamental Changes to the United Nations Scale of Assessments

    Every three years, the member states of the United Nations negotiate how to apportion the expenses of the U.N. regular budget and the peacekeeping budget. These negotiations center on the U.N. “scale of assessments,” which assigns a specific percentage of the budgets to each member state, broadly based on its capacity to pay as calculated from its gross national income…

  • First Principles Series Report posted June 2, 2015 by Justin D. Lyons Champion of Liberty: Winston Churchill and His Message to America

    2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston S. Churchill. Dwight D. Eisenhower, fortified by memories of long association and collaboration with Churchill through cataclysmic events, wrote a remembrance for National Geographic: “When Sir Winston Churchill died on January 24, 1965, full of years and honors, the entire world quickened with emotions of grief…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted April 18, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Must Demand Transparency and Accountability in Appointment of Top-Level U.N. Officials

    Under the tenure of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the number of the highest-ranking U.N. officials has increased by an average of 35 percent (a 47 percent increase in New York and a 27 percent increase elsewhere). This expansion of top-level officials is troubling for a number of reasons, including lack of transparency in the nominating process,…

  • 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 10, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Hold the Line on U.N. Salaries

    Personnel costs, including salaries, comprise nearly three-quarters of the U.N. regular budget, and increases in U.N. salaries have significant budgetary implications for the member states. Over the past few years, the U.N.’s International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) has recommended salary increases despite the fact that some member states, including the U.S., have…

  • 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 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…

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  • Posted on March 11, 2010 by Brett Schaefer Sarkozy is Tougher on the U.N. than Obama

    In a startlingly blunt manner, French President Nicolas Sarkozy today demanded that the United Nations be reformed and...…

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