Backgrounder posted June 11, 2015
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…
Issue Brief posted September 22, 2014
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
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. 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 March 11, 2014
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 September 17, 2013
Thirty Years of Voting in the U.N. General Assembly: The U.S. Is Nearly Always in the Minority
Congress has been concerned for decades that countries receiving American foreign aid often oppose U.S. initiatives and priorities in the United Nations. A State Department annual report on the voting practices in the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA), mandated by Congress since 1983, shows that in the past 30 years voting coincidence with the U.S. surpassed 50 percent only…
Issue Brief posted February 25, 2013
U.N. General Assembly: Foreign Aid Recipients Vote Against the U.S.
Congress has been concerned for decades that countries receiving American foreign aid often oppose U.S. initiatives and priorities in the United Nations. A State Department annual report, mandated by Congress since 1983, on the voting practices in the U.N. General Assembly shows that the vast majority of recipients of U.S. foreign assistance routinely oppose U.S.…
Issue Brief posted November 28, 2012
Palestinian Statehood: The Latest Research and Analysis
On Thursday, November 29, the United Nations General Assembly is expected to vote on elevating the U.N. status of the Palestinian Authority (PA) from permanent observer “entity” to “non-member state” permanent observer. Last year, the Obama Administration blocked the PA’s bid for full U.N. membership by threatening to use its Security Council veto and asserting that…
Issue Brief posted September 28, 2012
The U.S. Must Oppose the Palestinian Statehood Effort at the U.N.
The Palestinians have announced their intent to use the United Nations once again to bolster their claims of statehood. Last year, the Obama Administration blocked their bid for full U.N. membership by threatening to use its Security Council veto. Now the Palestinians are seeking “non-member state” permanent observer status, which does not require Security Council…
Issue Brief posted September 24, 2012
Top Five Statements Obama Should Make to U.N.
On September 25, President Obama will address the U.N. General Assembly. With anti-American protests continuing throughout the Islamic world and setbacks to key U.S. foreign policy goals, the President should deliver a strong, confident speech that reflects America’s determination to defend its interests and serve as a constructive force for good.
Issue Brief posted August 2, 2012
U.S. Should Act to Stop Renewed Rush to Arms Trade Treaty
The U.N. negotiating conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) ended on July 27 without reaching consensus on a treaty, but the ATT is far from dead. The conference was only one step in the process.
When the U.N. General Assembly (GA) meets in September, it will have before it the report of the negotiating conference and the draft treaty text. The ATT’s proponents…
Backgrounder posted June 18, 2012
The Window of Opportunity to Overhaul the U.N. Scale of Assessments Is Closing
This month the U.N. Committee on Contributions is meeting to review the U.N. scale of assessments, which apportions the expenses of the regular budget and, by extension, the peacekeeping budget. Under U.N. rules, the budget is passed by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly, even if those countries pay only a small fraction of the expenses.…
WebMemo posted December 13, 2011
Why the U.S. Should Be Concerned About the Domestic Effects of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty
Negotiations for a new U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) are supposed to be finalized in July 2012. Some of its supporters argue it would have no “impact on the ability of individuals within the United States to acquire and possess firearms.” Even if this is true, it is not the only reason to be concerned about the treaty. But if the treaty comes before the Senate, its…
WebMemo posted September 19, 2011
The U.N. Palestinian Statehood Vote: A Test of Obama’s U.N. Engagement Strategy
The effectiveness of the Administration’s “new era of engagement” to build goodwill toward the U.S. at the U.N. based upon mutual respect and cooperation will be tested this week when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas formally requests U.N. membership for the Palestinian delegation.
Despite intense U.S. diplomatic efforts, the Palestinian delegation…
Testimony posted September 14, 2011
Promoting Peace? Reexamining U.S. Aid to the Palestinian Authority, Part II
My name is James Phillips, and I am the Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern 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 The Heritage Foundation.
Since the signing of the 1993 Oslo peace accords, the U.S. has showered over $4 billion in bilateral aid…