House plan includes warning for U.N. about tough times that could come

By Around the Web

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Wire.]

By Brett Schaefer
Real Clear Wire

When Congress and the White House enact a spending bill for foreign operations, will it contain the sharp cuts in funding for the United Nations and related entities found in the version a House subcommittee passed last week? Highly unlikely. Yet that didn’t stop critics from voicing howls of anguish and warnings of peril.
However, the House bill needs to be seen as a bright warning light for the United Nations if Donald Trump wins in November and/or Republicans gain control of both the House and Senate.
President Biden entered office in 2021 boasting that “America is Back” and pledging to reverse many policies of President Trump to “repair our alliances and engage with the world.”

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He quickly followed through by restoring funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Palestinian humanitarian organization UNRWA, rejoining the UN Human Rights Council and UNESCO, and rescinding sanctions on the International Criminal Court.
The White House did not condition its reengagement on reform and fought to wrangle all the funding it could from Congress. U.S. contributions to the UN system rose from $11.6 billion in 2020 to $18.1 billion in 2022.
But this generosity has not enhanced the U.S. relationship with the UN. Quite the opposite. Instead of working with the U.S. to address its concerns, the UN and the member states have done the opposite, squandering the opportunity to demonstrate to its largest financial backer that the organization can be a useful partner of America.
The WHO never condemned China for contributing to the severity of COVID-19 and has squandered over two years of negotiations on a misguided pandemic agreement that would not address the flaws that contributed to COVID-19.
The Human Rights Council remains dominated by anti-democratic human rights abusers that focus disproportionately on Israel while rejecting U.S. efforts to even debate a UN report on China’s human rights crimes in Xinxiang.
UNESCO continues to support Palestinian efforts to rewrite history to scrub Jewish ties to the Holy Land, including designating “Tell es-Sultan” near the ancient city of Jericho as a World Heritage site in 2023. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised UNESCO for the designation that “testifies to the authenticity and history of the Palestinian people.”
The current conflict in Gaza has exposed clearly how deeply Hamas has infiltrated and compromised UNRWA, including misusing its facilities as shields for its weapons, tunnels, and militants. Yet UNRWA continues to downplay its complicity and echo Hamas propaganda.
Meanwhile, the UN legitimizes Hamas’s false casualty numbers for months, the International Criminal Court is prepping charges against Israeli leaders, the International Court of Justice accuses Israel of genocide, and the Secretary General reportedly is set to include Israel on a blacklist of governments like Russia and terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda that deliberately harm children in conflict zones.
Likewise, the UN General Assembly continued its annual practice of condemning the U.S. for its economic sanctions on Cuba, the UN Human Rights Committee found that the U.S. had not upheld many of its human rights obligations, the UN General Assembly rewarded the Palestinians with enhanced privileges and status over U.S. objections, and so on.
No wonder House Republicans – and the American people who overwhelming think the UN is doing a “poor job” – are fed up. Given this recent record, is it shocking that the desire to fund UNRWA, UNESCO, the Human Rights Council, and the United Nations is coming up short in Congress?
The bottom line is that the UN is increasingly irrelevant in solving major world crises and seemingly less interested in a good relationship with the United States than in it is in placating America’s adversaries.
The Biden administration – naïvely fixated on having a seat at the UN table for its own sake – has protected the UN from the brunt of congressional ire despite being repeatedly rebuffed by the organization. If Trump and Republican House and Seante candidates win in November, the toll may come due.
Brett D. Schaefer is the Jay Kingham Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at The Heritage Foundation.
This article was originally published by RealClearWorld and made available via RealClearWire.


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