US SLASHES UN FUNDING, IS ISOLATIONISM BACK?


US SLASHES UN FUNDING, IS ISOLATIONISM BACK?

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

The world’s top hegemon is slashing fund contributions to the United Nations. The fund cuts are coated with rubrics of transparency and accountability, which is hardly surprising for the global hegemon that has been tailing behind emerging markets in providing fresh perspectives on global issues.

Such a development is hardly new. During the hegemonism of the fascistic neo-conservatives, there was a slight modification of the plan, as the UN members were made to kowtow to the extremist polarism of the said fascists led by Cheney & Bush. Funds thus flowed to the UN at rather appreciable levels, thus quashing the isolationists who were sidelighted during the dominant years of the extremists.

The neo-cons are still inside the defense establishment today, though their ascendancy within the Republican Party has been eclipsed by the neo-fascist Tea Party demagogues’ formation that seems to have resurrected the isolationists. Part of the old fogey isolationism agenda was to reduce UN funding to bare minimum as the US federal government should focus on internal affairs.

In a revealing pronouncement by a Harvard professor of political science who visited Manila in 2000, 2/3 of the isolationists in the House of Representatives have not even visited other countries. Yet such isolationists speak so nauseatingly self-righteous a manner in their putting the blames of the USA’s ailments on external factors such as the yuan, China, immigrants’ host countries, etc.

Only the harebrained folks surely buy the line of dirty isolationist demogues. Below is a reportage about the latest anti-foreign demagogy of the isolationists.

[Philippines, 03 November 2011]

Source: http://www.devex.com/en/blogs/development-assistance-under-obama/house-panel-approves-to-reduce-us-contributions-to-united-nations
House Panel Moves to Slash US Contributions to UN
Posted by Ivy Mungcal on 14 October 2011 05:19:07 AM
House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen holds a press conference on the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act or H.R. 2829. Photo by: House Committee on Foreign Affairs
The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee passed Oct. 13 a reform proposal that would significantly slash U.S. funding to the United Nations if the global body fails to implement sweeping reforms, including shifting to a voluntary funding basis for its regular budget.
H.R. 2829, or the U.N. Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act, was approved by the Republican-led committee with a 23-15 vote despite pressure from top administration officials and leading U.S. aid groups, who argued the measure would undermine U.S. leadership in the international community.
The proposal, which was introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), requires the United States to withhold 50 percent of its nonvoluntary regular budget contributions to the United Nations if, after two years, less than 80 percent of the U.N. regular budget is funded on a voluntary basis.
A voluntary funding structure of the U.N. regular budget would allow the United States and other U.N.-member states to pressure the global body to implement badly needed reforms, supporters of the measure argued.
“We will never achieve lasting, sweeping reforms if the U.S. keeps paying in full what the U.N. dictates to us, with no consequences for the U.N.’s failures,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “A shift to voluntary funding will help end the U.N.’s entitlement culture, forcing it to perform better and cut costs in order to justify its funding.”
Leading U.S. aid groups and foreign aid supporters, however, stressed the proposal is not the best way to press for reform at the United Nations.
“The anti-U.N. legislation passed today is counterproductive to an effective relationship between the United States and the United Nations,” Better World Campaign head Timothy Wirth said. “This bill would degrade our leadership and end the decades-long work of Republican and Democratic administrations to successfully work within the U.N. system to advance American national security, political and economic interests.”
Wirth further noted that approval of the reform proposal goes “against the will of the American people,” citing the results of a recent opinion poll showing the majority of the U.S. public opposes the measure.
Leading U.S. aid groups and foreign aid supporters have been actively campaigning alongside administration officials against the approval of H.R. 2829 and similar proposals targeting the U.S. international affairs budget account.
Ahead of the proposal’s markup, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has written to the House Foreign Affairs Committee to pressure it to drop the proposal. Clinton also noted that she would ask U.S. President Barack Obama to veto the proposal should it reach his desk.
But as Time notes, a presidential veto may not be necessary. The reform proposal is not expected to reach the president’s desk any time soon as it still needs approval of the full House floor and the Democrat-led Senate, which is unlikely to support the significant cuts proposed by the Republicans.
Read more:
• US Public Largely Opposes Cuts in US Contributions to UN
• Ros-Lehtinen Proposal Keeps Pressure on UN
• Esther Brimmer: Ros-Lehtinen Proposal ‘Backwards,’ Will Undermine U.S. World Leadership
Read more on U.S. aid reform online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.
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