Nov 10 2011
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced legislation to encourage comprehensive and long-lasting reforms at the United Nations. In introducing this bill, Rubio issued the following statement:
“The United Nations was created with the specific objective of maintaining the peace that followed the end of World War II. More than six decades later, we still need a U.N. with resolve, a U.N. that acts with effectiveness and purpose. Sadly, the U.N.'s persistent ethics and accountability problems are limiting its role. Until the organization addresses these important issues, the stature of the organization will continue to suffer in the eyes of the world.
“Examples of this troubling situation abound, from the ongoing efforts to circumvent direct negotiations to end the Israeli-Arab conflict, to the discredited Human Rights Council led by the world’s most notorious tyrants and human rights violators, to the proliferation of mandates that have clouded the organization’s mission and effectiveness. It is imperative for the UN to modernize along a post-Cold War consensus based on transparency, effective promotion of human rights, free enterprise and non-proliferation.
“The UN needs fundamental reform, and America is the best-suited and greatest hope to accomplish all that is needed to help the organization live up to its founding charter. I believe these measures should guide us in improving this institution.”
As an original co-sponsor of the bill U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said, “I applaud Senator Rubio’s efforts to address the problems that plague the United Nations. A decade has passed since Congress implemented needed reforms. Now, this legislation offers updated solutions that will make the United Nations more accountable and transparent in their decision-making process.”
If enacted, Rubio’s legislation, which is a companion bill to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s House proposal, would accomplish the following:
- Allow the U.S. to fund only UN agencies and programs that advance U.S. interests and values, resulting in greater competition among UN entities for funding that would increase transparency and effectiveness.
- Authorize the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate and audit the use of U.S. contributions to the UN.
- Prohibit U.S. contributions to the UN from being used for any purpose other than the specific purposes for which it was made available by Congress.
- Firmly establish U.S. policy on various issues relating to the UN, including transparency, reform, Security Council expansion, terrorism, anti-Semitism and the unfair treatment of Israel.
- Withholds U.S. contributions from any UN agency or program that upgrades the status of the Palestinian observer mission outside a negotiated settlement with Israel.
- Conditions U.S. membership on and funding of the UN Human Rights Council on the Council’s adoption of reforms barring membership of countries subject to Security Council sanctions, under Security Council-mandated human rights investigations, states sponsors of terrorism, “countries of particular concern” for religious freedom violations, or that have been designated as Tier 3 for human trafficking violations.
- Makes it U.S. policy to lead a high-level diplomatic campaign to revoke and repudiate the Goldstone Report and its follow-on measures by the UN General Assembly.
- Withholds U.S. funding from any part of the UN’s flawed Durban process, which has been hijacked by rogue regimes and used to advance an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-Western, anti-freedom agenda.
- Conditions U.S. funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) providing assistance to Palestinians refugees until UNRWA meets certain safeguards against terrorist links.