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  • 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…

  • Lecture posted February 14, 2011 by Brett D. Schaefer The Role and Relevance of Multilateral Diplomacy in U.S. Foreign Policy

    Abstract: Multilateral diplomacy is challenging. The dynamics are often more complex than bilateral negotiations because there are many more players. But while policies and venues may change, the role of diplomacy—to advance and promote the foreign policy objectives of the United States—is constant and does not change when the diplomacy is multilateral rather than…

  • Backgrounder posted November 1, 2010 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.N. Should Stop Ignoring Its Financial Regulations and Pay Its Debts to the Member States

    Abstract: In defiance of U.N. financial rules and regulations, the U.N. has retained more than $200 million in unspent funding for closed peacekeeping missions. Instead of returning these funds to U.N. member states as required, the U.N. Secretary-General has used them as a slush fund to cover financial shortfalls in U.N. peacekeeping missions and the regular U.N. budget.…

  • Special Report posted September 21, 2010 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Smart Multilateralism and the United Nations

    Abstract: Multilateralism is not an end in itself. It is one of many foreign policy tools, admittedly a very important one, in the diplomatic kit. For the United States, multilateralism faces its greatest challenge at the United Nations, where the all-too-frequent clash of worldviews between liberty and authoritarian socialism has stymied multilateralism more than…

  • Special Report posted September 21, 2010 by Baker Spring Restoring the Role of the Nation-State System in Arms Control and Disarmament

    Abstract: The cause of the United States is the preservation of liberty, starting with its own. It is the most noble of callings, and U.S. leaders should never lose sight of this. The shortcomings of the U.N. system, particularly in arms control and disarmament, are increasingly focused, intentionally or unintentionally, on constraining our ability to defend…

  • America at Risk Memo posted May 17, 2010 by Steven Groves The Interdependence of National Security and National Sovereignty

    There is a clear difference of opinion between people who believe in a national defense policy directed solely by the protection of U.S. security interests and others—sometimes referred to as “transnational progressives”—who believe that the United Nations Security Council and other elements of the “international community” should have an influence on U.S. decisions…

  • Backgrounder posted March 23, 2010 by Paul Rosenzweig How the EU's Lisbon Treaty Affects U.S. National Security

    Abstract: Yet another EU treaty has gone into effect. This time, it is the Treaty of Lisbon. All sorts of tedious rule changes will result, adding yet more layers of bureaucracy and confusion to the behemoth that is the European Union. Why should Americans care? Because embedded in all the bureaucratese and muddle of regulations is the more insidious element of…

  • Testimony posted March 17, 2010 by Sally McNamara Transatlantic Security in the 21st Century: Do New Threats Require New Approaches?

    Committee on Foreign Affairs United States House of Representatives Wednesday, March 17, 2010 My name is Sally McNamara. I am Senior Policy Analyst for European Affairs at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position of…

  • Backgrounder posted March 16, 2010 by Sally McNamara EU Foreign Policymaking Post-Lisbon: Confused and Contrived

    Abstract: The European Union finally succeeded in ramming through introduction of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009. The treaty was touted by the powers in Brussels as the vehicle that would create the long-awaited "single phone line" to Europe. Lisbon was to streamline the gargantuan EU bureaucracy and make communication between the two sides of the Atlantic…