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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 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…

  • Commentary posted February 19, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Hypocritical NGOs like to blame US while turning blind eye to terror

    The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is an ambiguous, inherently flawed treaty. It’s also the creation of liberal non-governmental organizations (NGOs) whose attitude is simple: blame America first. When Secretary of State John Kerry signed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on September 25, he paid tribute to these NGOs, groups like Amnesty International and Oxfam. They were,…

  • Commentary posted February 11, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves The U.N. Preaches to the Vatican

    The international “smart set” regularly chastises the United States for not ratifying the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). One need only look to a recent report by the CRC’s treaty committee for full justification of U.S. reticence. Human-rights “experts” on U.N. treaty bodies like the Committee on the Rights of the Child often take liberties with…

  • Commentary posted January 20, 2014 by Steven Groves The U.S. Doesn't Need the U.N.'s Disability Treaty

    Backers of the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities received a major blow last month when Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the top GOP member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, announced he would not support ratification. And that's good because ratification of the CRPD will not benefit Americans with disabilities. The United States…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted January 9, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer No ‘Partial Funding’ for UNESCO

    Despite objections and warnings from the Obama administration, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) granted full membership to the Palestinian Authority in 2011. That decision ran afoul of two U.S. laws, passed in the early 1990s, that prohibit U.S. funding for any U.N. organization that grants membership to the Palestine Liberation…

  • Commentary posted January 7, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. The Weakness of the Responsibility to Protect as an International Norm

    The international doctrine called the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has a checkered history. It first appeared in the 1990s in response to the U.N.’s perceived failures to stop mass murders in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. It gained traction in 2005 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted a non-binding R2P resolution over U.S. objections. Then, in 2011, the…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted November 24, 2013 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. U.N. disability treaty won't protect the rights of wounded veterans

    It has bounced around the Senate for more than a year without winning ratification. Yet supporters of the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are back, pushing for yet another vote before senators head home for Christmas. Progressives embrace the treaty as another step toward creating a set of universal standards that will enable all…

  • Commentary posted November 21, 2013 by Steven Groves The Shameful Selling of the Disabilities Treaty

    Perhaps the American people have come to expect less than straight talk from the White House. But blowing smoke that misleads Americans with disabilities -- including U.S. veterans badly wounded in combat -- crosses a red line even by today's standards. That is precisely what the White House and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are doing in their…

  • Issue Brief posted November 19, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer U.N. Human Rights Council: A Flawed Body That Should Be Replaced

    The United Nations held elections on November 12 for 14 Human Rights Council (HRC) seats for 2014. Based on the election results, the number of free countries will climb to a slim majority. However, a number of countries with poor human rights records continue to be elected to the body. The lack of meaningful membership standards is a key reason behind the HRC’s poor…

  • Backgrounder posted November 12, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer Haiti Cholera Lawsuit Against the U.N.: Recommendations for U.S. Policy

    A U.S. nongovernmental organization recently filed a lawsuit against the United Nations seeking compensation on behalf of victims of a cholera outbreak in Haiti, and at least $2.2 billion in funding to eradicate cholera. Evidence compiled since 2010 strongly indicates that U.N. peacekeepers were the source of the cholera and, due to negligence or deliberate disregard,…