DEDICATED TO A STRONG U.S.â€“UN RELATIONSHIP
The United States and the United Nations in the 112th Congress 2011 Briefing Book
TABLE OF CONTENTS About Us About BWC & UNA-USA ................................................................................................................. 2
The Value of the UN Delivering Around the Clock ............................................................................................................. 5 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ....................................................................................................... 7
Economic and Social Issues Building Democracy ............................................................................................................................ 9 Providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.............................................................. 12 Championing Women and Girls...................................................................................................... 14 The Millennium Development Goals: Making Progress through Partnerships ....................... 16 Promoting Human Rights Mechanisms ......................................................................................... 18 Confronting Global Climate Change .............................................................................................. 20
Peace and Security Issues UN Peacekeeping: Promoting Stability around the World .......................................................... 22 The UN Mission in Haiti .................................................................................................................. 25 The UN Missions in Sudan .............................................................................................................. 27 The UN Mission in Iraq.................................................................................................................... 29 The UN Mission in Afghanistan...................................................................................................... 31 Preventing Nuclear Proliferation ..................................................................................................... 33 Fighting International Terrorism ..................................................................................................... 36
U.S. - UN priorities for 2011 U.S. Dues and Contributions to the UN ........................................................................................ 38 Recent Reforms at the UN ............................................................................................................... 40 Key International Agreements ......................................................................................................... 42
Appendix I: Key UN Institutions The UN Security Council ................................................................................................................. 46 The UN General Assembly .............................................................................................................. 48 The UN Secretariat ............................................................................................................................ 50
Appendix II: The UN System UN Agencies, Funds and Programs ................................................................................................ 52 The Capital Master Plan .................................................................................................................... 56 Americans in the UN ........................................................................................................................ 58
About BWC & UNA-USA Better World Campaign The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong, effective relationship between the United States and the United Nations through outreach, communications, and advocacy. We encourage U.S. leadership to work constructively with the UN to enhance the UN’s ability to carry out its invaluable operations around the world. In addition, we engage policymakers, the media, and the American public to increase awareness of and support for the UN. History and Highlights BWC is a project of the Better World Fund, created with support from entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner as part of his historic $1 billion gift in 1998 to support UN causes. Launched in 1999, BWC has helped build support for: •
Repayment of $926 million in U.S. debt to the UN under the Helms-Biden agreement. The last of three payments was made by the U.S. in September 2002. Additional repayment of $721 million in U.S. peacekeeping debt to the UN in 2009;
U.S. re-entry into the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2003 and U.S. re-entry in the Human Rights Council in 2009;
Constructive U.S. engagement in UN reform since 2005, which led to the creation of the Democracy Fund, Peacebuilding Commission, Ethics Office, Human Rights Council, and UN Women, improvements in UN management, and the development of the Global Field Support Strategy; and
Almost $100 million in 2010 supplemental funding for the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) so that peacekeepers could continue providing security and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance after the devastating earthquake.
United Nations Association of the United States of America The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) informs, inspires, and mobilizes Americans to support the principles and vital work of the UN.
Structure A program of the United Nations Foundation, UNA-USA is a nonprofit membership organization with more than 10,000 members nationwide. For more than six decades, UNA-USA and its chapters and divisions have stood at the forefront of building American support for the UN. In November
2010, UNA-USA and the United Nations Foundation entered into a strategic alliance. Together the two organizations represent the single-largest network of American supporters of the UN.
Programs UNA-USA Chapters and Divisions: With a rich history spanning six decades and over 100 chapters and divisions across the country, UNA-USA’s Council of Chapters and Divisions and the National Membership staff support programs and campaigns at the regional and national levels through a combination of public outreach, policy analysis, fundraising, events and international dialogue. UNA-USA Council of Organizations: The council is a network of more than 90 NGOs with interests in education, social justice, peace and security, labor, sustainable development, human rights, health and women's issues. They share the common goals of promoting greater public awareness about global issues and the UN's importance in world affairs and strengthening the USUN relationship. Global Classrooms®: This national program is an international network enriching students’ lives around the world. Established to help prepare students in underserved communities, Global Classrooms teaches students to be global citizens by developing literacy skills including the ability to read critically and communicate effectively in writing. Student Alliance: This program is action-oriented and member-focused to meet the needs of today’s globally minded middle school, high school, and undergraduate college students. Student Alliance is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and mobilizing American students to support the principles and vital work of the UN, strengthening the UN system, promoting constructive U.S leadership in that system, and achieving the goals of the UN Charter. Young Professionals for International Cooperation (YPIC): This program of UNA-USA seeks to engage young professionals in discussions of international affairs, emphasizing the importance of multilateral cooperation and the UN. YPIC provides exciting opportunities to interact with likeminded individuals and explore international careers, providing young professionals a unique forum in which to learn more about current international issues, the UN, and the work of UNA-USA. Leo Nevas Program on Human Rights: This initiative engages UNA-USA’s activities toward mobilizing existing and new resources to help the UN take a more effective role in human rights as well as getting the U.S. involved more in the UN’s human rights efforts. The program has updated Global Classroom’s curriculum on human rights. It recognizes individuals who are advancing human rights with an annual award, and brings together human rights NGOs to collaborate with UN officials and permanent representatives to the UN on ways to improve the operations of the Human Rights Council and other UN human rights activities.
2011 Agenda In 2011, BWC and UNA-USA will build support for U.S. policies that reinforce and renew U.S. engagement in the UN and educate people about the real benefits the U.S. receives through our relationships with the UN. We will work with the Administration and Congress on the range of issues listed below, so the UN can better address the global challenges of the 21st century: •
Payment of dues on time, in full, and without conditions so that the U.S. does not fall back into arrears, the removal of the congressionally imposed arbitrary peacekeeping cap, and the reversal of the U.S. policy of paying UN dues a year late;
Greater support for UN peacekeeping operations and for U.S. assistance in managing the historic number of missions by working with the UN to develop its capabilities in logistics, training, doctrine, and management expertise;
Constructive engagement on structural and management reforms and the implementation of ongoing reforms, like the Global Field Support Strategy, a key peacekeeping reform to quickly and more efficiently deploy missions;
Participation in the Human Rights Council and for the U.S. to run for re-election to the intergovernmental body;
Advancement of the Millennium Development Goals; and
Senate passage of key agreements that we have signed but not ratified, such as the Law of the Sea, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Delivering Around the Clock Every day, around the clock, the United Nations and its family of agencies are working to improve people’s lives throughout the world. With little fanfare or media attention, the UN delivers everything from emergency relief to vaccinations to counter-terrorism training; it resolves conflicts and keeps the peace in the world’s most dangerous places; and it supports elections and new institutions that usher in democracy. These priorities are fundamentally American priorities. By working through the UN to share the burden, the U.S. gets real value for its money.
Promoting Peace and Democracy •
The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has the second largest deployed military in the world with 14 peacekeeping missions and over 100,000 troops and personnel in places such as Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, and Haiti. These troops prevent the outbreak of conflict, assist in implementing peace agreements, monitor ceasefires, and help nations transition to stable governments. In the last decade alone, UN peacekeepers have disarmed more than 400,000 ex-combatants.
The UN Development Program (UNDP) and UN peacekeeping operations support, on average, one free and democratic election somewhere in the world every two weeks. In recent years, they have facilitated elections in South Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Iraq, Nepal, Afghanistan, Burundi, Liberia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and East Timor, allowing over 80 million people to exercise their democratic rights.
Expanding the Reach of U.S. Counter-Terrorism Efforts •
Established in 2004 partly in response to the passage of nuclear secrets to North Korea, Libya and Iran by Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1540, which requires all member states to take steps to prevent weapons of mass destruction from getting into the hands of terrorists. Furthermore, at the direction of the Security Council, the UN’s Al-Qaida-Taliban Sanctions Committee freezes assets, bans travel, and imposes arms embargos on specific individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, or the Taliban.
In wake of the tragedy on September 11, 2001, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1373, which criminalizes terrorism-related activities, requires every country to freeze the financial assets of terrorists and their supporters, and forbids providing funding and safe havens to terrorists.
Curbs the Spread of Nuclear Weapons •
The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) implements international nuclear cooperation agreements and monitors nuclear safeguard agreements in more 5
than 150 states, including Iran and North Korea. In 2003, the IAEA unmasked Libya’s hidden nuclear weapons program. In 2010, with strong support from the United States, the board of the IAEA voted to set up a global nuclear fuel bank that aspiring nations can turn to for reactor fuel instead of making it themselves. Deemed a breakthrough in global cooperation, the bank would enable peaceful uses of nuclear energy while reducing the risks of proliferation and catastrophic terrorism.
Provides Vital Humanitarian Assistance •
In Japan, UN agencies are sending emergency communications equipment, blankets, and technological expertise in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant breakdown. IAEA has sent a team of experts to help with the reactor crisis and is providing regular updates and the World Food Program (WFP) has provided 60,000 blankets. The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) continues to help coordinate disaster response teams.
In Libya, some 47 tons of UNICEF supplies have arrived in Ben Guerdane near the Tunisia-Libya border. The supplies will help cover needs in health, child protection, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene. WFP and the Tunisian Red Crescent are providing hot meals with high-energy biscuits to 15,000 beneficiaries every day.
In Haiti, UN peacekeepers have reduced violence in the cities and cracked down on the most notorious gangs. The UN police have trained Haitian National Police personnel, and together, they are patrolling internally displaced people (IDP) camps 24 hours a day. UNDP has employed 200,000 people in its “Cash for Work” program, which pays Haitians a minimum wage to remove debris, help with reconstruction, and deliver aid to the homeless. Women represent 40 percent of those working within the program.
In 2009, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) provided food, shelter, medical aid, and education to more than 10 million people, mostly women and children.
The UN World Food Program (WFP) annually ships 5.1 million tons of food to 113 million of the world’s hungry, including to school lunch programs in 72 countries.
Prevents and Eliminates Worldwide Diseases •
UNICEF supplies vaccines to more than 40 percent of the world’s children. Over the last 30 years, UNICEF and WHO have increased the percentage of people worldwide who are vaccinated against preventable diseases from 5 percent to 75 percent.
Every year, the WHO investigates 200 to 250 disease outbreaks. In 2003, WHO helped stop the spread of SARS before it could reach and infect tens of thousands of people. In 1980, WHO became the only entity to ever eliminate a major worldwide disease: smallpox.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Ban Ki-moon became Secretary-General on January 1, 2007. His five-year term will end this year, but he may choose to run for a second five-year term. From 2004 to 2006, he was South Korea’s Foreign Minister. Previously, he spent many years in the South Korean foreign ministry, where he gained substantial experience traveling the world and working on various international issues. Since taking office in January 2007, Secretary-General Ban has prioritized several key issues including: United Nations reform and transparency, global health and development, women, peace and security, and climate change.
UN Reform and Transparency Secretary-General Ban has led several important reforms at the UN. He streamlined UN operations for greater efficiency. For example, he divided the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations into two departments: one to plan and implement peacekeeping mandates and the other to provide logistical and administrative support services to all UN field missions, including non-peacekeeping political missions such as the mission in Afghanistan. The Secretary-General also spearheaded the development of the Global Field Support Strategy to strengthen and expedite the UN’s delivery of support to missions in the field, yielding better results and cost savings. He also sought an improved approach to addressing sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) among peacekeepers such that NATO consults with UN officials on how best to deal with its own SEA matters. Secretary-General Ban has made UN operations more transparent. He enhanced the efforts of the UN’s independent watchdog agency, promulgated a strict code of ethics for UN employees, encouraged financial disclosure by senior leadership, and ensured whistleblower protection within the UN system. He is currently bringing the UN’s administrative practices into the 21st century with new techniques, technology, and training. He has also moved the UN from print to electronic distribution of UN documents and publications, which has resulted not only in a wider audience but also reduced printing costs.
Development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) With less than five years until the 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs, Secretary-General Ban has emphasized the importance of achieving these crucial anti-poverty measures and prioritizing the world’s poor in the midst of the global economic crisis. In 2010, the Secretary-General convened the High-Level MDG Summit during the General Assembly, which produced a global action plan to achieve the MDGs by 2015. A large number of heads of state and government participated, as well as leaders of civil society, the private sector, and the philanthropic community. The centerpiece of the Summit was the launch of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, a comprehensive multi-stakeholder plan developed under SecretaryGeneral Ban’s leadership to achieve MDGs 4 and 5. At the launch, the Secretary-General secured over $40 billion in new commitments toward women’s and children’s health that will 7
support the strategy over the next five years. The strategy has the potential to save the lives of over 16 million women and children and yield significant benefits across all of the MDGs.
Women Secretary-General Ban spearheaded the creation of UN Women, which was unanimously approved by the General Assembly in July 2010 and started operations in January 2011. UN Women consolidates into one unified entity the work of the four UN bodies focusing on gender equality and the empowerment of women. This new agency reduces overlap, increases financial efficiency, and gives women’s issues a greater voice. The SecretaryGeneral appointed former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, a well-respected global leader, to head UN Women. The Secretary-General’s commitment to prioritizing women’s issues is also evident in his UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. The campaign launched in 2008 is a multi-year effort to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the globe.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation One of Secretary-General Ban’s priorities is to eliminate nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction by reducing international stockpiles, preventing further proliferation, and keeping terrorists from acquiring nuclear materials. In September 2010, he chaired the High-Level Meeting on Revitalizing the Work of the Conference on Disarmament to catalyze stalled negotiations on a treaty to ban the production of fissile materials. The Secretary-General vigorously supports the monitoring work of the IAEA and Security Council’s efforts to stem North Korea and Iran’s nuclear weapons programs.
Climate Change Secretary-General Ban calls climate change “the defining challenge of our age.” From the beginning of his tenure, he has made clear that combating climate change is one of his signature priorities. The Secretary-General was instrumental in bringing nations together for the December 2007 Bali conference, which formulated a roadmap for a comprehensive climate change action plan to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. During the December 2010 UN climate talks in Cancún, the Secretary-General solidified the “building blocks” approach to the climate change negotiations—the idea that progress can be made toward a comprehensive global deal through a series of agreements to take immediate action to reduce emissions, including national actions. Endorsed by 193 countries, the Cancún Agreements reaffirmed key elements of the 2009 Copenhagen Accord and advanced measures on deforestation, technology cooperation, adaptation, and finance. This new, bottom-up approach paves the way for additional agreements in future negotiations on such topics as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the reduction of powerful warming agents such as methane, refrigeration gases, and black carbon from diesel engines, and cookstoves.
Building Democracy Democracy promotion has a prominent profile at the United Nations, and democratic values and principles are infused in many of the UN’s peacebuilding and development efforts. The UN’s international legitimacy gives it a unique advantage in promoting the spread of peaceful democracy and stable transparent governments, and its broad membership gives all UN member states a stake in ensuring the success of emerging and fledgling democracies. As such, the UN is pursuing a number of initiatives that seek to foster democracy globally.
Key Points on UN Democracy Promotion •
The UN promotes democracy as a major part of its international development efforts and is committed to the idea that a free and open society is the best way to give individuals ownership of their country’s development and progress. To this end, the UN works to facilitate and monitor elections in countries emerging from conflict or transitioning to democracy, build democratic institutions and promote the rule of law, and fund local projects that spread democratic ideals.
The universal membership of the UN confers unparalleled legitimacy in promoting democracy in countries around the world, including the transition to representative government in Afghanistan and elections in Iraq, Haiti, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, and East Timor.
UN Initiatives in Democracy Building Facilitating Free and Fair Elections: Almost half of the world’s nations have requested and received the help of the UN in preparing for, conducting, and monitoring elections; including in difficult environments such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Universally trusted as an unbiased arbiter with decades of experience, the UN is able to provide logistical assistance and guidance prior to elections, increased oversight and monitoring during national elections, and ballot counting post-elections. Peacebuilding Commission: Intended to follow up on the work of UN peacekeepers and aid transition to post-conflict societies, the Peacebuilding Commission provides a forum to consolidate peace processes; support democratic development; and promote economic growth by focusing on country-specific political, security, and economic needs. Democracy Fund: Created at the urging of the Bush Administration in 2005, the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF) was established to finance projects that strengthen and build democracies around the globe, by providing grants directly to NGOs and civil society in countries like Iran, Myanmar, and Russia. UNDEF operates entirely on voluntary contributions from governments, and it has enjoyed widespread support among member states, 35 of which have contributed.
Fostering Democracy Sudan: Since 2005, North and South Sudan have worked to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which ended their 22 year war. The CPA set several benchmarks for consolidating peace in Sudan, including national elections and a referendum on selfdetermination for the South. With significant support from the UN, both of these benchmarks have been successfully completed. The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) supported, assisted, and provided security for the Sudanese National Election Commission as they conducted national elections in April 2010 and the referendum for the South’s independence in January 2011. Despite irregularities in polling and allegations of fraud, the UN and the international community believe that many of the priorities for the elections were met: the elections were mostly peaceful, there was a commitment to polling results by all parties, and it was another step in fulfilling the requirements of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The referendum was also completed successfully with 98 percent of the voters electing for the secession of South Sudan. The government of Sudan has accepted the results of the referendum and South Sudan will become Africa’s newest nation in mid 2011. Iraq: The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) advises the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) and Iraq’s political leaders ahead of elections. UNAMI and the IHEC developed a comprehensive capacity building program. Funded through the International Reconstruction Fund Facility, this program helps the IHEC incorporate good international practices in administering elections. Since 2007, the IHEC has conducted two national voter registration updates. Approximately 2.9 million Iraqis turned out for the voter registration update in 2008 and over 500,000 in 2009. The IHEC successfully implemented the July 2009 Kurdistan parliamentary elections and the March 2010 Council of Representatives elections, in which over 12 million voters participated. In addition to assisting the IHEC, UNAMI has built consensus within Iraq’s Council of Representatives on the governorate council election law as well as on election law and its amendments. For example with assistance from UNAMI, Iraq now has laws that address minority representation through required reserved seats in three key governorates. In addition with UNAMI’s assistance, for the first time, Iraq’s new election law provides for an open list electoral system. Afghanistan: Between 2001 and 2005, the UN assisted in brokering provisional arrangements in Afghanistan and in laying the framework for a transition to a representative national government. In December 2005, these efforts culminated in the first meeting of a democratically elected parliament in Afghanistan in over 20 years. The UN supported the presidential elections in 2009 as well as the parliamentary elections in 2010.
The Future of Democracy at the United Nations Upcoming Elections: The UN will work to ensure free and fair elections in several key nations over the next two years, including in the Central African Republic during the March 2011 second round of presidential elections, in Liberia during the October 2011 general presidential elections, and in Democratic Republic of the Congo during the November 2011 10
general elections. It is also likely that Egypt will face, at the least, presidential elections in 2011, and the UN Secretary-General has volunteered the UN to provide electoral technical assistance. Strengthening the Peacebuilding Commission: The United States has expressed support for the Commissionâ€™s work and hopes to foster greater cooperation between the Commission and the Security Council, so that the scope of peacekeeping mandates contemplate future steps to transition to a consolidated and sustainable peace. In addition, the U.S. could support peacebuilding by financing the Peacebuilding Fund, which seeks to establish a bridge between conflict and recovery when other funding mechanisms may not yet be available. The U.S. is not currently a member of the Fundâ€™s 45 country donor base.
Providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief For millions of people, the United Nations is the world’s “911 service” in the aftermath of major natural disasters or conflicts—a first-responder and essential provider of food, shelter, and supplies. Agencies like the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) facilitate the work of humanitarian agencies on the ground, while instruments like the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) enable timely and reliable funding for humanitarian assistance in the wake of natural disasters and armed conflicts. Since its inception in 2006, the CERF has committed over $1.8 billion to assist humanitarian relief efforts in 78 countries.
Key Points on Responding to Global Emergencies •
The UN is the only organization with the legitimacy, reputation, capacity, and reach to coordinate major relief efforts. The UN is on the ground in almost every country in the world and can respond quickly when a humanitarian disaster strikes, providing food, supplies, shelter, and education. In 2010, the UN led the response efforts to natural disasters in Haiti and Pakistan and to humanitarian crises in conflict zones such as Kyrgyzstan. Since the start of 2011, the UN has already been called on to provide humanitarian assistance in several countries, most notably in Libya and Japan.
The UN strives to strengthen its capabilities in the areas of disaster assistance and humanitarian relief, and, as of December 2010, has already secured over $358 million in emergency relief funds to help with upcoming emergencies.
Emergency Responses in 2010/11 Japan: UN agencies are sending emergency communications equipment and technological expertise to help people cope in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant breakdown. IAEA has sent a team of experts to help with the reactor crisis and is providing regular updates and WFP has provided 60,000 blankets. OCHA continues to help coordinate disaster response teams. Libya: Some 47 tons of UNICEF supplies have arrived in Ben Guerdane near the TunisiaLibya border. The supplies will help cover needs in health, child protection, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene. WFP and the Tunisian Red Crescent are providing hot meals with high-energy biscuits to 15,000 beneficiaries every day. In addition, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the Qadhafi regime, passed a resolution endorsing a no-fly zone, and authorized "all necessary measures" to protect civilians against Qadhafi’s forces. Haiti: A 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010, killing over 316,000 people, injuring 300,000 more, and displacing 1.5 million. The capital city’s infrastructure, including key government institutions and the UN peacekeeping mission 12
headquarters, were destroyed. Yet within hours, the U.S. and the UN began a search and rescue mission and provided critical humanitarian aid. Despite its own tragic losses, including the deaths of the head of mission and over 100 other UN peacekeepers, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), immediately began clearing roads to provide humanitarian access to people in need and providing security to the city and the airport. The UN continues to coordinate hundreds of organizations and operate in many aspects of the relief and rebuilding efforts. Highlights of the UN’s humanitarian response include: • • •
Delivering more than 20,000 tons of food per month and emergency material at the height of operations in both urban and rural areas; Immunizing almost 2 million children against five preventable diseases; and Providing clean water, latrines, and hygiene kits for 1.72 million Haitians.
Pakistan: The 2010 monsoon season in Pakistan, the worst that country had ever seen, sparked an enormous humanitarian crisis. Extensive flooding in Pakistan severely damaged a portion of the country’s infrastructure and destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes as well as hundreds of hospitals. More than 1,600 people have died and 18 million people were affected. The UN has been a steadfast partner to the Pakistani people during this crisis, feeding more than 4 million, offering over 300,000 students educational support through school rehabilitation and temporary learning centers, providing over 300,000 households with livestock as well as seeds and fertilizer for the winter planting season. Nearly 865,000 households, of the 1.7 million homes that were destroyed, received emergency shelter.
Preparing for Conflict and Disaster in 2011 Additional ongoing conflicts will require UN humanitarian assistance in 2011, such as those in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur, Somalia, and elsewhere where large portions of the population are affected by conflict and instability. The UN will continue to provide necessary humanitarian services to those people while also, where it is able, pushing for peace. To maintain these operations, the UN will need continued support from donor countries like the U.S. While it is nearly impossible to be certain what new conflicts and natural disasters will occur in 2011, the UN is going to great lengths to improve its capacity to respond, already stockpiling over $358 million for CERF so as to be ready for new crises. Maintaining and adding to the UN’s emergency resources will remain a high priority in 2011; doing so will allow the UN to help victims of disaster survive and recover, thus decreasing the likelihood that disaster will lead to destabilization and conflict.
Championing Women and Girls Empowering women and girls around the world is widely recognized as one of the most important and effective means of advancing global health, promoting economic development, protecting the environment, and safeguarding universal human rights. Throughout its history, the United Nations has worked to ensure that all the world’s women and girls have the opportunity to live in dignity, free from want and fear.
UN Priorities for Improving the Lives of Women and Girls Here is how the UN is working for the equality and empowerment of women and girls around the world: •
Promoting economic development: The UN is at the forefront of integrating the needs of women into the global economic development agenda. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) underscore that gender equality is necessary to reduce world poverty. The key MDGs related to women and girls include: Goal 2 (“Achieve universal primary education” for girls and boys), Goal 3 (“Promote gender equality and empower women”), Goal 5 (“Improve maternal health and Achieve universal access to reproductive health”), and Goal 6 (“Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases”);
• Reducing gender-based violence: Gender-based violence—which encompasses a wide range of human rights violations, including sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls, and several harmful traditional practices such as child marriage—destroys the health, dignity, security, and autonomy of women and girls. According to World Bank data, women aged 15 to 44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, motor accidents, war, or malaria. In 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched his multi-year UNiTE campaign to end violence against women and girls. The UNiTE campaign galvanizes world public opinion, ensures action by policymakers at the highest levels, engages male leaders, and mobilizes men and boys for the cause. In 2010, the UN Security Council met with over 90 world leaders on the 10th anniversary of landmark Security Council Resolution 1325 to review its implementation; the resolution recognizes the need for greater involvement by women in peace and security and seeks to end sexual violence against women and girls in armed conflict. These leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, noted the progress made over the last ten years but also acknowledged continued abuse of women, such as last summer’s mass rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;
• Improving women’s health: UN agencies are involved in a wide variety of efforts to help improve the health of women and girls. UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, the World Bank, and UNAIDS are working together to save the lives of women and newborns with a 5-year strategy aimed at strengthening health systems in countries with the highest maternal mortality rates. In September 2010, Secretary-General Ban launched a Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health that lays out an approach for global, multisector collaboration for the finance and policy changes needed to improve health and 14
save lives. This initiative has already received $40 billion in support since its launch. UN agencies are also helping women in rural areas avoid indoor air pollution and the negative health impacts associated with using firewood as a primary source for heat and cooking. And 47 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Arab states are joining together through the UNFPA’s global Campaign to End Fistula to prevent obstetric fistula and restore the health and dignity of those living with its consequences; and •
CEDAW: Developed under UN auspices in 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) remains the single international treaty instrument that comprehensively defines discrimination against women and girls and provides a framework for addressing it in all its forms. As of November 2010, 186 states have ratified or acceded to the treaty, obligating their governments to respect, protect, and ensure the rights of women and girls and to report periodically to the independent UN CEDAW Committee. The U.S. is the only state to have signed but not ratified CEDAW.
Key UN Bodies that Promote Gender Equality •
UN Women: In January 2011, UN Women, the new entity that consolidates four existing UN offices focused on women into a single body, began operations. Consolidating the Division for the Advancement of Women, International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, and the United Nations Development Fund for Women will enhance financial efficiency, reduce overlap, and improve policy coherence. In September 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Ms. Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile as Under-SecretaryGeneral for UN Women. She will report directly to the Secretary-General, giving women’s issues more prominence within the UN system.
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) began operations in 1969. UNFPA is the largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health programs in the world. With support from more than 180 countries, UNFPA helps women, men, and young people plan their families and avoid unwanted pregnancies, go through pregnancy and childbirth safely, avoid sexually transmitted infections, combat violence against women, and promote the equality of women. On November 19, 2010, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin (of Nigeria) as the new Executive Director of UNFPA. UNFPA does not provide, support, or advocate for abortion, nor does it support, promote, or condone coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization, as some critics have claimed.
The Millennium Development Goals: Making Progress through Partnerships In 2000, all UN member states committed to the eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to cut poverty in half by 2015; the MDGs are the first and only international framework for improving the human condition of the world’s poor. The Eight Millennium Development Goals: 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger 2. Achieve universal primary education 3. Promote gender equality and empower women 4. Reduce child mortality 5. Improve maternal health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases 7. Ensure environmental sustainability 8. Develop a global partnership for development
2010 MDG Summit In September 2010, over 140 heads of state and government convened in New York for the ten year Review Summit on the MDGs. They met to highlight advances toward the goals to date and demonstrate commitment to achieving them by 2015. Summit participants celebrated progress in East Asian countries, many of which are set to achieve most, if not all, of the goals by 2015. And the leaders further committed to quicker progress in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is falling behind on some of the goals, despite tremendous successes. Also, at the 2010 MDGs Summit: The Secretary-General launched his Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health, a worldwide concerted effort that drew $40 billon in support for progress on MDGs 4 and 5. Following up on his 2009 pledge to make the MDGs “America’s Goals,” President Obama chose the 2010 Summit to introduce a new U.S. development strategy for achieving the MDGs. Developed in close consultation with U.S. civil society, the strategy is a pledge to energize cooperation and partnerships, streamline development assistance, and make the MDGs a central part of America’s national security and foreign policy.
Progress on the MDGs •
With the UN’s help, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has decreased dramatically. Between 2005 and 2010, the total number of poor people around the world fell by nearly half a billion—a decline from over 1.3 billion in 2005 to under 900 million in 2010. The developing world as a whole remains on track to achieve the poverty reduction target (MDG 1) by 2015, despite the economic, food and fuel crises.
Child deaths have dropped from 12.5 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008 thanks to key interventions to immunize against measles and control malaria and HIV.
The number of children out of school is decreasing – from 106 million in 1999 to 69 million in 2008; enrollment rates in developing countries are now at 89 percent. Additionally, the gender gap in the out-of-school population has narrowed; the number of girls around the world not in school decreased from 57 percent to 53 percent between 1999 and 2008.
With approximately 87 percent of the world using safe drinking water sources, the MDG 7 target of halving by 2015 the proportion of people with sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is on track.
Challenges for Achieving the MDGs by 2015 •
The recent global financial crisis put pressure on government resources in all countries, raising fears that donor countries will cut back on the foreign aid commitments necessary to achieve the MDGs. Price hikes in commodities may also threaten assistance from donor countries, as some countries are shifting money allocated for development to the food crisis without increasing total aid.
Climate change and high prices for food and energy are threatening gains in development, particularly for those populations who spend a large percentage of their income on food.
While the MDGs are increasingly mentioned in global development discussions as an important framework, some countries lack the expertise or capacity for implementing the goals and are not held accountable for achieving them.
Prioritizing Development in 2011 Despite these challenges, nations have made significant progress toward the goals and can achieve them – particularly, as experts maintain, if we can increase the pace of progress and scale up successful programs. Furthermore, it is imperative that the U.S. global development strategy integrates the MDGs, and that resources be aligned with achieving these internationally agreed upon goals. Developing countries will need to become more involved in their own development, and donor countries will need to increase their levels of assistance for 2011 and beyond. The U.S. will play a critical role in pushing towards the goals – as it has in the past, from President Bush’s drive to end the AIDS epidemic through PEPFAR to President Obama’s rethinking of the health delivery systems in the Global Health Initiative and his new MDGs strategy.
Promoting Human Rights Mechanisms The United States has a long history of supporting UN human rights mechanisms, beginning with our deep involvement in founding the UN and our efforts to ensure that the organization would hold the promotion of human rights as one of its core pillars. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt led the effort to develop the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is the first document in human history to spell out the basic civil, political, economic, and social rights that all human beings should enjoy. The UN works to defend and promote human rights through three key mechanisms within the UN system: •
Human Rights Treaties: Over the past six decades a number of human rights treaties have been adopted to further develop international human rights standards, including the protection of women’s rights, the rights of the child, and the rights of those with disabilities.
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): OHCHR works to promote and protect human rights in the field by monitoring and reporting on human rights violations and strengthening the capacity of national institutions to provide adequate human rights protection. In addition, it provides administrative support to the Human Rights Council and advises the Secretary-General on human rights matters. Most of OHCHR’s activities are funded through voluntary contributions from UN member states.
Human Rights Council (HRC): The Human Rights Council is the only global intergovernmental body addressing human rights; it is composed of 47 member states, elected for three year terms by the General Assembly and based on equitable geographical distribution. The Council meets several times throughout the year, passing resolutions on individual human rights situations (such as Burma), ordering inquiries into allegations of human rights violations (such as Libya), and appointing special rapporteurs—independent experts—on a range of subjects to investigate particular countries or human rights issues.
U.S. Engagement in the Human Rights Council In June 2006, the UN General Assembly created the Human Rights Council to replace the discredited Commission on Human Rights. The U.S. declined to run for a seat on the new body and in its early years the Council struggled in fulfilling its mandate to promote and protect internationally recognized human rights. The Council’s work was unduly focused on Israel and was characterized by antagonistic relationships among regional blocs of states. In 2009, the U.S. successfully ran for and won a seat on the Council, with the goal of changing the body’s dynamics by using U.S. diplomacy and influence to help it live up to its potential to focus on the most critical human rights challenges and stand up for our allies. U.S. engagement in the Council has produced real results in a short period of time:
U.S. membership has allowed the U.S. to better support Israel and reduced the imbalance in the Council’s work. In February 2011, the Council recommended, and the UN General Assembly agreed to, the suspension of Libya’s membership in the body and to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya. In June 2010, the U.S. and Norway worked together to obtain a cross-regional statement on human rights violations in Iran joined by 56 countries. The efforts of the U.S. and other nations in opposing Iran’s candidacy for a seat on the Council led to Iran’s withdrawal in the face of certain defeat.
By creating a strong cross-regional coalition including Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia and others, U.S. diplomats overcame objections by countries such as China and Cuba and succeeded in persuading the Council to establish a new monitor for the implementation on the rights of assembly and association and to hold governments accountable that do not uphold these fundamental freedoms. The Council also created a new mechanism to fight discrimination against women and to provide expertise to governments that seek advice on improving the opportunities available to women and girls.
Effective U.S. diplomacy also has contributed to improving the Council’s ability to address specific countries of concern; since the U.S. joined the body, countries that have been added to the Council’s agenda include Guinea, Honduras, and Kyrgyzstan.
Nevertheless, some of the most serious and challenging situations of violations around the world continue to go unaddressed or are inadequately addressed due to institutional and political obstacles. Though the Council is not as unbalanced as before the U.S. joined, there is still an inordinate amount of focus on Israel. Effective U.S. diplomacy remains as necessary as ever.
Recommendations for Strengthening Human Rights Mechanisms Advocate for Enhancing the Council during the 2011 Review: When the General Assembly created the Council in 2006, it mandated that there should be a review of its work and functioning in 2011. The U.S. should use its membership on the Council to improve the ability of it to address specific country situations, and protect the independence of human rights monitors and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Maintain Funding to the HRC: Congress should maintain funding to the UN budget for the HRC. Proposed funding restrictions have no impact on the performance of the HRC; they only serve to withhold a percentage of our contributions to the UN regular budget, thus increasing the amount of our debt to the United Nations and ceding ground to states willing to make such investments to undermine, rather than promote, a stronger human rights system.
Confronting Global Climate Change Brief History Over the last 200 years, the world has increased the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and disrupted the earth’s climate by extracting and using fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal) and changing how land is used (especially deforestation). In response, in 1992, the international community agreed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the Earth Summit in Rio. This treaty committed signatories to avoiding dangerous human interference with the climate system and reducing emissions commensurate with their levels of development. President H.W. Bush signed the treaty, and the Senate immediately ratified it. In 1997, 170 countries adopted an implementing agreement, the Kyoto Protocol, which called on developed countries to reduce their emissions by 5 to 7 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. The U.S. was the only nation that signed but did not ratify the Protocol.
Scientific Consensus In 1988, the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Program formed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to establish a strong scientific basis for policy on climate change. The IPCC—comprised of hundreds of climate experts from leading academic and research institutions worldwide—has released four Assessment Reports, each expressing increasing certainty about the human contribution to climate change and warning of the likely consequences if the world does not respond. In 2007, the IPCC received the Nobel Peace Prize for its work. Controversy arose in 2009 when a handful of relatively minor mistakes were discovered in the most recent assessment. Several official investigations were conducted, all of which validated the scientific rigor of the assessment, causing several media outlets to issue retractions. Additionally, the UN and the IPCC requested that the InterAcademy Council (IAC)—an organization of the world’s top science academies—review the IPCC’s work and suggest improvements to the panel’s review process. The IAC’s August 2010 report found that the IPCC’s procedures were sound, but that they could be strengthened and made more transparent. Since then, specific recommendations from the IAC have been adopted including requiring IPCC authors use consistent terminology to qualitatively describe uncertainties, and cross-checking more thoroughly the authenticity and robustness of data and information taken from 'grey literature' that has not been peer reviewed. The IAC also proposed more far-reaching changes to the IPCC's management structure to streamline its decision-making, which will be debated at the next IPCC plenary session in May 2011.
The UN’s Role The UN is addressing global climate change by raising awareness of the issue; promoting research and forging scientific consensus to address it; mobilizing a global policy response 20
through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; and helping countries adapt to the impacts of warming.
UN Climate Negotiations The December 2010 UN climate talks in Cancún solidified the “building blocks” approach to the climate change negotiations—the idea that progress can be made toward a comprehensive global deal through agreements to take immediate action to reduce emissions, including national actions. The Cancún Agreements, endorsed by 193 countries, reaffirmed key elements of the 2009 Copenhagen Accord and advanced measures on deforestation, technology cooperation, adaptation, and finance. This new, bottom-up approach paves the way for additional agreements in future negotiations on such topics as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the reduction of powerful warming agents such as methane, refrigeration gases, and black carbon from diesel engines and dirty cookstoves.
UN Peacekeeping: Promoting Stability around the World The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) oversees 14 peacekeeping missions and has more than 100,000 troops and personnel making it the second largest deployed military in the world. The United States provides very few troops for these missions, and other countries pick up about 75 percent of each mission’s costs. The UN Security Council authorizes DPKO to deploy UN peacekeepers to prevent conflict, assist in implementing peace agreements, monitor ceasefires, and help nations make the transition to stable governments. Since 1945, UN has undertaken 64 field missions, helped implement 172 peaceful settlements to end regional conflicts, and enabled people in more than 46 countries to take part in free and fair elections. UN peacekeepers come from 118 countries and serve in some of the world’s most volatile areas. Through its permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the U.S. approves the mandate of every peacekeeping mission, and with its veto, could prevent or end any peacekeeping mission it does not support. For more than 60 years, the U.S. has provided critical resources and training for missions and worked with the DPKO to create every mandate.
Benefits of Investing in UN Peacekeeping Sharing the burden. The U.S. cannot ensure international security alone, nor should it have to. UN peacekeeping draws upon the economic and human resources of UN member states to share the burden of collective security and reduce the need for unilateral intervention. A 2005 RAND report suggested that the UN is better suited for peacekeeping missions than the U.S. alone; the report found that of the “eight UN-led cases, seven are at peace. Of the eight U.S.-led cases, four are at peace; four are not—or not yet—at peace.” The study also called the UN’s decision-making apparatus and command and control structure superior to those of similar international organizations. Saving money. The UN continues to be the most cost-effective choice to prevent conflict, keep the peace, and rebuild societies emerging from conflict. According to a 2006 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the UN mission in Haiti was eight times less expensive than a comparable U.S. force would have been. In addition, the UN is more experienced in peacekeeping, can more successfully incorporate development aid, and has much lower overhead, with about one staff member at headquarters for every 100 personnel in the field, compared to a ratio of about one to four during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Preventing failed states. With the help of the U.S., UN peacekeeping continues to prevent the collapse of weak states by supporting peace agreements, demobilizing combatants, facilitating humanitarian efforts, training police, and creating conditions for political reconciliation and elections. Fewer failed states mean fewer safe havens for terrorists—a boon for U.S. counterterrorism efforts. Furthermore, conflicts to which UN peacekeepers have been deployed are less likely to erupt again than conflicts without peacekeepers. 22
Promoting democratic governance. The promotion of democracy is a key U.S. foreign policy priority. UN peacekeeping operations provide security, logistical support, and technical assistance, allowing elections to proceed freely and fairly; these operations also build capacity for sustainable governance and rule of law in fragile post-conflict states. Leveraging international legitimacy. Because of its diverse membership and their adherence to the UN Charter, UN peacekeeping operations enjoy a level of international legitimacy that unilateral and coalition efforts do not. As a permanent Security Council member, the U.S. is able to leverage that legitimacy in pursuit of America’s strategic national security interests. This has yielded real results; in 2005, The Human Security Report, a major study on peace and war, found that the global security climate improved dramatically between 1988 and 2001, with genocides and politicides plummeting by 80 percent. The study attributed this decline to an increase in conflict prevention, peacemaking, and post-conflict activities, including the number and complexity of UN peacekeeping missions.
Challenges of UN Peacekeeping Limited capacity: With every authorization of a new mission, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations must solicit sufficient troops, supplies, transportation, and funding from UN member states. Further, to deploy a peacekeeping mission always requires the consent of the host country, which, as the case of Sudan demonstrates, is not always easy to obtain. As former Secretary-General and head of UN peacekeeping Kofi Annan put it, all this is akin to having to build a fire station after the fire breaks out. Lack of a ‘peace to keep’: As demands on peacekeeping increase, UN “blue helmets,” as the peacekeepers are often called, are deploying into increasingly dangerous and difficult situations; sometimes the conflicting parties have not even reached a peace agreement. According to several studies on peacekeeping, including a 2000 report by veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, UN peacekeepers should only set up in areas where a credible peace exists. To do otherwise undermines both peacekeepers’ effectiveness and their perceived legitimacy. A political agreement also paves the way for a potential end to hostilities and marks the exit for a peacekeeping mission. Undermanned and underfunded: The RAND study found that the size and deployment of UN peacekeeping forces is often based on unrealistic best-case scenarios; for example, the current UN peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo operates with about one-third as many troops as NATO started with in Bosnia, even though the UN peacekeeping troops are spread over an area that is six times as large and teeming with wellarmed militias. Furthermore, the quality of UN peacekeeping troops is uneven and declining as many Western nations with sophisticated militaries, such as the U.S., have decreased the number of troops they contribute to UN operations. Member states have also been unwilling to provide critical enabling assets like helicopters or are in the process of withdrawing helicopters, as India announced it was doing in 2010. In 2011, the UN predicts a shortfall of nearly sixty helicopters, which are an absolute force requirement for operations in vast remote places like South Sudan, Darfur and DR Congo and assets that only Member States can provide. 23
Underfunding UN Peacekeeping: As it considers the UNâ€™s budget, Congress must recognize that failing to fulfill our obligations to UN peacekeeping takes necessary resources from field missionsâ€”not from UN headquarters; that means the countries we rely on to deploy soldiers are not compensated for their efforts. This not only undermines U.S. credibility but also endangers the fundamental viability of critical missions in places like Sudan and Haiti.
Ranking of Military and Police Contributions to UN Operations Country 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. . 65.
Pakistan Bangladesh India Nigeria Egypt Nepal Jordan Rwanda Ghana Uruguay . United States of America
(As of January 2011)
10,672 10,380 8680 5,873 5,404 4,430 3,969 3,842 2,963 2,449 . 98
The UN Mission in Haiti On January 12, 2010, Haiti was struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the capital of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, killing at least 316,000 civilians and destroying key government institutions. It also killed 159 UN peacekeepers, including the head of the peacekeeping mission, its deputy, and the acting UN police commissioner in Haiti. Despite the UN’s tragic losses in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, MINUSTAH—the UN mission that been there since 2004 to stabilize Haiti—mobilized quickly to support relief efforts. MINUSTAH worked to maintain stability in and around Port-au-Prince, securing the airport and clearing roads to allow aid and rescuers to reach those in need. The UN, in close cooperation with the U.S., also coordinated the delivery of humanitarian aid.
MINUSTAH Achievements •
Electoral Process Assistance. In November 2010, with support from the UN, Haiti conducted its presidential elections with minimal violence—Haiti’s first elections since the earthquake. The polling was close, so a run-off between Haiti’s former First Lady Mirlande Manigat and popular musician Michel Martelly will decide the final results. MINUSTAH helped Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (PEC) to administer the elections, providing logistics, getting displaced persons to polling stations, and creating security plans to minimize the election violence. In addition, MINUSTAH and the PEC identified and inspected over 1,500 polling places across the country, and MINUSTAH police officers trained 4,000 security guards for the elections.
Improved Public Safety. Since the earthquake, MINUSTAH peacekeepers – whose ranks increased when the UN Security Council deployed 3,500 UN police officers—have cracked down on gang activity and significantly reduced urban violence. MINUSTAH is also helping victims of gender based violence file police reports and assisting the Haitian National Police (HNP) in investigating the crimes. Finally, MINUSTAH is helping rebuild the HNP after the earthquake left hundreds of HNP officers missing or dead. Prior to the earthquake, MINUSTAH had trained over 9,000 Haitian police officers, making huge strides toward professionalizing the force.
Increased Counternarcotics Activity. Haiti has long been a major trans-shipment point for drugs such as cocaine and heroin coming from the Caribbean and South America bound for the United States and Europe. In the past, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency supported MINUSTAH’s police reform program, training the counternarcotics division of the HNP and the Haitian Coast Guard. Concerned that Haiti drug trafficking would rise in the quake’s aftermath, the U.S. pledged $7.9 million to improve Haiti's coast guard and anti-drug agency as part of the Mérida Initiative, a multinational anti-drug aid program. The HNP counternarcotics units have conducted joint operations with the United States and MINUSTAH.
Ongoing Challenges â€˘
Cholera Epidemic. Currently, over 234,000 people in Haiti have suffered from cholera, and approximately 4,500 of those have died from the disease. MINUSTAH, in conjunction with other UN agencies, is combating this health crisis on several fronts: MINUSTAH is stocking cholera treatment centers with health supplies, providing sanitary and clean water facilities, and teaching proper management, transport, and safe burial of bodies to prevent future health crises.
Potential for More Devastation. Haiti lives under the constant threat that another severe hurricane season could cause further damage, especially to the 1.3 million people who are still displaced. In November 2010, Hurricane Tomas tore through parts of Haiti, taking seven lives and impacting more than 500,000 people in the west and south of the country.
Finding Permanent Shelter for the Displaced. The earthquake displaced 1.5 million people, and a year later, 800,000 of these still have inadequate shelter. The earthquake also destroyed title deeds and land registry records, exacerbating disputes over land rights in Haiti and making it difficult to secure permanent shelter for the displaced. Flooding and severe hurricanes further add to the challenge. To help mitigate the problem, the UN has coordinated building 120,000 transitional shelters to prevent overcrowding in camps. The Haitian government has assigned 7,450 hectares of land north of Port-au-Prince for temporary housing for those relocated from at-risk sites. However, more must be done to resolve land issues and move the displaced into permanent homes.
The UN Missions in Sudan After 22 years of conflict between North and South Sudan, the National Congress Party of the North and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement of the South signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 under the auspices of the United Nations, the United States, and the international community. The CPA ended the long-standing civil war, which killed 2 million people and drove 4.5 million out of their homes. To support the agreement, UN Security Council Resolution 1590 authorized the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to assist in implementing the CPA, disarm and reintegrate rebel groups, professionalize the police force, protect civilians, and facilitate the return of refugees and displaced persons. The CPA not only ended the war, it also established a number of benchmarks for implementation of the agreement, including two that have been completed to date: national elections and a referendum on self-determination for the South, which took place in January 2010. The results of the referendum showed that 98 percent of voters supported southern secession. It was a historic moment for Sudan, despite the many challenges that remain. Going forward, the UN will assist South Sudan during a transitional period, helping to consolidate peace, building the capacity of South Sudan’s institutions, and mediating between the two sides on the remaining contentious CPA benchmarks. The Republic of South Sudan is scheduled to officially become independent on July 9, 2011. Despite serious irregularities in polling and allegations of fraud, the UN and the international community believe that many of the priorities for the elections were met: the elections were mostly peaceful; there was a commitment to polling results by all parties; and it was another step in fulfilling the requirements of the CPA.
UNMIS Achievements As it has over the past five years and during the run up to the 2011 referendum, UNMIS plays a critical role in monitoring the ceasefire in Sudan, maintaining peace, and preventing a reoccurrence of large scale conflict in the region. •
Democratization. UNMIS provided critical support to the Sudanese National Election Commission as it conducted national elections in April 2010 and the referendum in January 2011. The April elections were Sudan’s first multi-party elections in 24 years; 16 million people registered to vote, and 16,000 people ran for office, over 1,000 of them were women candidates running for the national assembly and more than 2,300 women ran for local and state assemblies. During both the national elections and the referendum, UNMIS’ 10,000 strong troop presence patrolled the contested Abyei area to prevent clashes, established referendum support bases at the county level to register voters and provided civic education materials. UNMIS, in cooperation with the UN Development Program (UNDP), also created integrated teams that trained and provided logistical support for those registering voters and running the elections. UNMIS also trained almost 10,000 Southern Sudanese Police Service officers to provide security during the referendum.
Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration. UNMIS is implementing a disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration program in each state in the South. Through the program, UNMIS has disarmed more than 25,885 former combatants in southern Sudan and retrained them in other vocations. UNMIS aims to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate 180,000 former combatants.
Security Sector Reform. UNMIS police are reforming the security sector to provide more stability in Sudan. They have conducted a total of 1,255 training courses for over 47,000 local police officers, including 3,300 women. This training teaches forensics, computer skills, traffic control, airport security, community policing, investigation of drug traffickers, and prevention of gender based violence.
Ongoing Challenges Although Sudan has made great strides in promoting sustainable peace in both the North and South, numerous challenges remain. Rights of Minorities. There are an estimated 2 million South Sudanese living in the North. The Khartoum government has not addressed the rights and protections of minority communities creating concerns that southerners living in the north will be marginalized, discriminated against, and harassed. In recent months, over 190,000 southern Sudanese living in the north have returned to the south, a movement that southern secession is expected to increase. Food Security. Even before the referendum, South Sudan lacked agribusiness and infrastructure, and food security was an ongoing challenge, a situation now only likely to intensify. Unaddressed Issues of the CPA. Despite the success of the referendum, there are outstanding CPA benchmarks that threaten the peace hoped for by the Sudanese people. These include: a resolution on the disputed border areas of the oil-rich Abeyi; a permanent agreement on sharing oil revenue; and other economic issues.
Darfur Estimates are that up to 300,000 people have died and at least 2.5 million have been displaced from their homes in Darfur, the western portion of Sudan, since 2003 when fighting broke out between the Government of Sudan, its allied Janjaweed militia, and other armed rebel groups. In July 2007, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1769 authorizing the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID) to address the humanitarian crisis in the western region of Sudan and support implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA). UNAMID currently has 22,000 troops and police, and while its deployment has been hindered by Sudanese governmentâ€™s restrictions and logistical difficulties, the force has provided security to millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs), stabilized humanitarian aid channels, and supported efforts toward a political reconciliation. It also works in cooperation with UNMIS to address regional stability. (For more information on UNAMID, please visit unitedinpeacekeeping.org) 28
The UN Mission in Iraq The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), a civilian led political mission, was created following the 2003 war in Iraq. After the August 2003 bombing of UN headquarters, which killed 23 people, including the mission’s head, Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN reduced its presence in the country. A small team returned a year later, at first operating crucial humanitarian and refugee functions from outside the country. But over the last several years, the UN has significantly expanded its presence and operations within Iraq. In August of last year, the Security Council extended to July 2011 UNAMI’s mandate to continue assisting the Iraqi Government with elections, reconciliation, the resolution of disputed boundaries, human rights and humanitarian concerns, and reconstruction and development. Ad Melkert is the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq.
The UN’s Role In August 2007, with the support of the United States, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to update and broaden the mandate of UNAMI, expanding the mission’s responsibilities in the following key areas: •
National Reconciliation: UNAMI has supported a review of the Iraqi Constitution, helped resolve internal boundary disputes, negotiated the sharing of natural resources, worked to strengthen the rule of law, ensured the protection of human rights, and assisted in organizing the census and elections—including the momentous elections of 2005;
Regional and International Support: UNAMI has also helped facilitate dialogue between Iraq and its neighbors, particularly on issues of border security, energy, and refugees; and
Humanitarian Assistance: UNAMI, along with other UN agencies, have assisted Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons and coordinated the delivery of humanitarian aid in the country.
Developing an Effective Political System In 2010, UNAMI supported the Iraqi government’s political system by: •
Facilitating dialogue over disputed internal boundaries in order to promote reconciliation between representatives of the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan regional government;
Supporting the passage of laws that led to successful Iraqi provincial elections, including those in Kurdistan;
Providing technical advice and capacity building to the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), which administers the elections; and
Assisting the IHEC in updating voter registration rolls and providing accurate information on polling sites during the March 2010 parliamentarian election. Nine months after the March elections, Iraq’s leaders formed a government, which included all of the country’s main political and ethnic groups, and chose Nouri al-Maliki as Prime Minister.
Assisting Refugees and Providing Humanitarian Relief The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported that the rate at which refugees and internally displaced persons returned to Iraq slowed in 2010; even so, that year saw 60,000 internally displaced persons and 16,000 refugees return home. UNHCR and partners continue to support 1.5 million displaced persons, providing basic services in camps, settlements, and urban settings while the UNHCR pursues durable long term solutions, including resettlement. In support of those returnees, the World Food Program (WFP) launched a “cash for work program” to provide short-term employment opportunities in agricultural infrastructure projects. This program aimed to employ 11,000 people in some of the most volatile regions where returnees were repatriating.
Upcoming Challenge To date, UNAMI has relied on coalition forces, including U.S. troops, to protect its staff and allow them to carry out their mission. As the U.S. draws down combat troops and prepares to leave Iraq by the end of 2011, UNAMI will need additional security protection and support.
The UN Mission in Afghanistan The United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) is a political mission coordinating the 23 UN agencies working in Afghanistan providing vital humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to the Afghan people. UNAMA is committed to working with the Afghan government to improve its democratic institutions by supporting reconstruction, combating corruption, providing humanitarian and development assistance, and advising and assisting the government with elections. In January 2010, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Staffan de Mistura as his Special Representative for Afghanistan following his success as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq.
Helping in the Transition to Representative Government Since 2002, UNAMA has helped Afghanistan transition to a representative national government. To support the Afghan government, the UN and its agencies provide electoral, logistical, judicial, and political assistance. In 2009, the UN supported the Afghan-led presidential elections, and in 2010, the legislative elections. With respect to the allegations of fraud that marred the elections, the Independent Electoral Commission investigated the allegations, including recounting the ballots. Some, including the Afghan Office of the Attorney-General, continue to question the December 2010 legislative election final results, but the Afghan electoral institutions stand by them. The United States welcomed the certification of the results and continues to support the work of the independent electoral bodies.
Relief and Reconstruction Despite continued insecurity in Afghanistan, the UN and its agencies, including the World Food Program (WFP), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), administer a variety of humanitarian assistance programs; their work includes: • • •
Assisting the return, registration, and repatriation of over 112,500 refugees; Immunizing almost 8 million children in 34 provinces against polio; and Training approximately 200,000 Afghan people—primarily women—in vocational skills.
Human Rights and Security Working with NGOs and the Afghan government, UNAMA monitors human rights protections, particularly those newly won by Afghan women. In 2010, the UN Development Program (UNDP) supported the Ministry of Justice’s new Human Rights Support Unit. This is an independent body within the Ministry of Justice, which implements human rights
programs in the government, monitors the government’s human rights record, and recommends improvements in human rights throughout Afghanistan. With respect to security, UNAMA has played a critical role in increasing the safety of all citizens by removing more than 40,000 heavy and light weapons, clearing 43 percent of the known hazardous landmine areas, disbanding 312 illegal armed groups, and confiscating 5,700 weapons. In addition, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has expanded its presence in Afghanistan to help the country address the prevalence of drugs and crime. The agency helps the Afghan government by providing evidence-based policy advice and by guiding the delivery of effective counter-narcotics and criminal justice interventions.
Kabul International Conference on Afghanistan The July 2010 Kabul Conference signaled a new phase in the partnership between the international community and the Afghan Government. The Kabul Process recommits to a more secure, prosperous, and democratic Afghanistan under the leadership and sovereignty of the Afghan government. Assisted by the U.S. and the UN, the Kabul Process is committed to achieving Afghanistan’s national priorities, including: • • • • • •
Promoting good governance, rule of law, and human rights; Focusing on economic growth and job creation for the Afghan people; Supporting the Afghan peace, reconciliation, and reintegration process; Committing to train, equip, and finance the Afghan National Security Forces; Encouraging regional cooperation and stability; and Improving the National Drug Control Strategy.
Since the conference, the Afghan government and its partners, including the UN, have begun to implement the Kabul Process through a framework to track progress for each of the priority programs as well as to strengthen the mechanisms of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB). Coordinated by the UN and the Afghan government, the JCMB sets targets for Afghan security forces. UNODC is also playing a vital role by helping the government create the statutory basis for the Major Crimes Task Force and the AntiCorruption Tribunal, adopt policies governing bulk cash transfers, and to begin the implementation of those policies within twelve months.
Preventing Nuclear Proliferation The United Nations serves as a key international platform from which countries can work together to stem the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. The UN General Assembly, the Security Council, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) all provide venues for countries to share resources and information, create frameworks for addressing breaches of international agreements, and build unified fronts against rogue states such as Iran and North Korea. 2010 was a pivotal year for global nuclear non-proliferation. The Nuclear Security Summit, hosted by President Obama in April 2010, brought together 47 world leaders. By consensus agreement, world leaders pledged to fight nuclear terrorism by securing all vulnerable nuclear materials in four years. One month later, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, for the first time in 10 years, also reached consensus on advancing disarmament and non-proliferation efforts; their agreement is based on three pillars: nuclear nonproliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and nuclear disarmament.
The UN’s Key Non-Proliferation Mechanisms: •
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA, which reports to the UN General Assembly and Security Council, monitors nuclear facilities and technology to ensure their peaceful use;
Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The CTBT, ratified by 153 member states, obliges parties not to detonate nuclear weapons or support those that do. The United States has signed but not ratified the CTBT; and
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). All but four countries are parties to the NPT, which commits member states to working toward both non-proliferation and disarmament.
Verifying Worldwide Nuclear Security and Usage: IAEA The IAEA seeks to prevent, detect, and respond to illicit or non-peaceful use of nuclear material. The IAEA currently inspects nuclear facilities in over 140 nations and provides UN member states with information and a technical reach beyond any of their individual capacities. In 2003, IAEA helped unmask Libya’s hidden nuclear weapons program. In 2005, the IAEA concluded that Iran had violated its safeguard obligations, alerting the world to an emerging threat that has prompted international sanctions. In October 2005, the IAEA and former Director General Mohamed El Baradei were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to prevent states from using nuclear energy for military purposes. In 2010, with strong support from the U.S., the board of the IAEA voted to set up a global nuclear fuel bank that 33
aspiring nations can turn to for reactor fuel instead of making it themselves. Deemed a breakthrough in global cooperation, the bank would enable peaceful uses of nuclear energy while reducing the risks of proliferation and catastrophic terrorism.
Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty The CTBT bans nuclear explosions in all environments for military or civilian purposes. The CTBT will only enter into force, however, after the 44 states in Annex II of the treaty ratify it. Nine of these countries have not yet done so, including, most prominently, China and the U.S. (which has, however, signed the treaty). The NPT, the most comprehensive international agreement on nuclear non-proliferation, is recognized by all but India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea.
Confronting Rogue Regimes The IAEA must rely on the UN Security Council to enforce their safeguards and obligations under the NPT. The Security Council acts as a platform on which member states can build a unified international response to rogue nations. In the past several years, the Security Council has condemned Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs and imposed strong sanctions against them. Iran: In 2003, the IAEA found that Iran had failed to report nuclear materials and activities as required of a signatory of the NPT. Iran’s continuous refusal to cooperate with the international community led the Security Council to approve sanctions including curtailing the travel of Iranian officials, freezing their assets, and banning export of nuclear technology and arms. In June 2010, the Security Council voted overwhelmingly for Resolution 1929, which punished Iran for its continued failure to live up to its obligations; Resolution 1929 puts in place the toughest sanctions the Iranian government has ever faced, and it sends an unmistakable message about the international community’s commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. The sanctions restrict Iran’s nuclear activities, its ballistic missile program, and, for the first time, its conventional military. They put a framework in place to stop Iranian smuggling and crack down on Iranian banks and financial transactions. They target individuals, entities, and institutions – including those associated with the Revolutionary Guard – that have supported Iran’s nuclear program and prospered from its illicit activities. In praising passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1929, Secretary of Defense Gates said that “one of the many benefits of this resolution is that it will provide a legal platform for individual nations to then take additional actions that go well beyond the resolution itself.” This has in fact happened – the U.S. issued their own sanctions, as did the European Union (Iran's largest trading partner), Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, and South Korea; the overwhelming bulk of Iran’s international trade is with countries other than the U.S., so their withdrawal has had more impact than even 30 years of U.S. sanctions. 34
Iran’s development of nuclear weapons has slowed as the sanctions have harmed its economy. During a 2010 hearing in the House of Representatives, Department of State Under Secretary for Political Affairs William Burns noted that multilateral and national sanctions hindered “Iran’s development of a nuclear weapons capability and the means to deliver them, while making it harder for Iran to continue its destabilizing activities in the region.” And former Treasury Department Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey noted that “major companies are announcing that they have curtailed or completely pulled out of business dealings with Iran." North Korea: North Korea withdrew from the NPT in 2003 and conducted a series of missile tests in 2006. In response, the UN Security Council passed two resolutions imposing a series of sanctions preventing North Korea from importing or exporting funds or goods that could fuel Pyongyang’s missile programs. After returning to the six-party talks, North Korea agreed to shut down its nuclear facilities in exchange for political incentives from the U.S. and Japan. In response to North Korea’s nuclear weapons test in 2010, the U.S. secured the unanimous adoption of Security Council Resolution 1874, which put in place an array of sanctions, including freezing assets, imposing financial sanctions, embargoing arms exports, and instituting an unprecedented framework for inspecting suspect vessels. Since the adoption of Resolution 1874, countries have intercepted and seized tons of contraband cargo, including a large arms shipment uncovered by Thailand in December 2009. These interdictions show that countries are taking seriously their obligations to enforce the new measures.
Next Steps to Non-Proliferation In December 2010, the U.S. took a major step to stop weapons from getting into the wrong hands by ratifying and signing the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), a definitive next step in the enforcement of the NPT. New START requires the U.S. and Russia to limit significantly their strategic arms over the seven years from the date the treaty entered into force, February 2011. However, it still allows the U.S. sufficient means to defend itself and its allies when necessary. The U.S. can advance non-proliferation even further by prioritizing Senate passage of the CTBT and pursuing full implementation and enforcement of the NPT. Other countries, such as Russia, look to the U.S., with the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, to take the lead on and fully embrace both of these treaties.
Fighting International Terrorism Terrorism, a transnational threat, can only be addressed thoroughly and effectively through the combined efforts of the international community. As we learned after September 11, 2001, terror networks operate in countries that are very often beyond the reach of American access and influence. The United Nations is an important and critical partner because it can amplify and broaden the reach of American counter-terrorism efforts. In particular, it can reach those countries in which the United States does not have strong bilateral relationships or sufficient credibility to operate. UN actions to fight terrorism are an integral part of America’s efforts to establish an international framework to root out violent extremism and terrorist activity. The UN is the key platform for combating international terrorism; it brings nations together to share resources and information, coordinate counter-terrorism activities, and create frameworks to assist those countries which disrupt and weaken global terrorist networks.
UN Actions against Terrorism •
UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee: Security Council Resolution 1373 established this committee after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This Security Council committee seeks to diminish the financial and logistical capability of terrorist organizations by criminalizing assistance to terrorist activities, imposing asset freezes, and banning travel. The committee and its executive directorate, made up of 25 counter-terrorism experts, has assisted and trained almost 60 countries all over the world to implement the Resolution’s requirement that member states adopt a series of measures to prevent terrorist acts both within their borders and across regions.
Non-Proliferation Committee: This committee and its eight experts monitor efforts to implement Security Council Resolution 1540, which mandates member states take a series of steps to prevent weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery from getting into terrorist hands. The committee was established in 2004 partly in response to the passage of nuclear secrets to North Korea, Libya and Iran by rogue Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. The committee requires all member states to establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee: Security Council Resolution 1267 established this committee and its monitoring team. The committee monitors the implementation of financial and travel sanctions and arms bans imposed by this
resolution and subsequent resolutions against Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and related groups and individuals on the committee’s Consolidated List. •
Counter-Terrorism Treaties: The 13 UN counter-terrorism treaties have greatly enhanced the U.S. fight against international terrorism. The treaties provide the legal basis for international cooperation to prevent terrorist financing, carry out joint law enforcement and intelligence efforts against terrorist attacks, and harmonize criminal justice standards in places with poor systems. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) assists over 110 countries in synchronizing their legislation with these treaties and provides them with the tools to prevent, suppress, and prosecute terrorism.
Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy: In September 2010, the UN reaffirmed its commitment to the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The Resolution, adopted by all 192 UN member states in 2006, is a strategic and operational plan to fight terrorism. The strategy includes practical steps to be taken at the local, national, and international levels to address the conditions that spread terrorism, prevent and combat terrorist acts, build state capacity, improve the UN’s ability to combat terrorism, ensure coordination, and safeguard human rights and the rule of law in the fight against terrorism.
The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force: Established by the UN Secretary-General, the Task Force coordinates UN efforts to implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The Task Force is made up of 24 members, including UN departments, agencies, and programs like UNDP, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, DPKO, UNESCO, as well as partners like INTERPOL and the World Bank. These agencies help the UN examine the conditions conducive to terrorism that can lead to violent extremism and are covered under the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
Keeping Weapons Out of Terrorist Hands: Other UN institutions ensure that weapons of mass destruction do not fall into terrorist hands. The International Atomic Energy Agency counters nuclear terrorism and provides member states with information and technical reach that is beyond their individual capacities. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons works toward the eradication of chemical weapons; it efforts have led to the deactivation of all declared weapons production facilities, subjecting those in countries representing 95 percent of the world’s population to stringent verification.
Counter-Terrorism and the International Security Agenda Fighting the transnational terrorism threat will remain a top global priority throughout 2011, and the UN remains committed to using its unique advantages to play an important role in this fight. By utilizing its convening power, the UN will continue to bring the international community together to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts. By actively engaging with the UN on these efforts and lending its support to strengthening UN counter-terrorism capacities and institutions, the U.S. can continue to build up the international community and its own capability to make the world safer from terrorism.
U.S. Dues and Contributions There are two sources of funding for the UN and its agencies: • •
Assessed contributions that finance the UN’s regular budget, peacekeeping operations, and specialized agencies like the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA); and Voluntary contributions to funds and programs such as UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program (WFP); as well as subsidiary organizations of the UN.
Assessed Contributions Assessed contributions are payments made as part of the obligations that member states undertake when signing treaties. Assessed contributions are vital as they are the primary source of reliable funding for UN core activities, such as peacekeeping. The U.S. is assessed 22 percent of the UN’s regular budget and 27 percent of the UN’s peacekeeping budget. (However, an outdated Congressional mandate caps U.S. expenditures at 25 percent of the UN’s peacekeeping budget.) Currently, over 70 percent of the UN’s total assessed budget is spent on peacekeeping, and since no mission can operate without the United States’ vote in the Security Council, this means that the U.S. directly determines a majority of the UN’s assessed budget. Paying Our Dues: The UN Regular Budget The UN’s regular budget finances the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat. It also finances the UN’s special political missions, the largest of which are the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). The current payment structure for UN regular budget dues sets maximum and minimum rates for all nations. The maximum rate is 22 percent; the minimum rate for poorer countries is 0.001 percent. The U.S. pays the maximum rate and has negotiated several reductions in this rate over time, most notably from 25 percent to 22 percent. The assessment rate is primarily determined by gross national income; the U.S. has one of the highest in the world. The U.S. assessed contribution to the UN’s regular budget is included, along with 43 other UN-system, regional, and non-UN organizations, in the State Department’s Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) account. Since the 1980s, the U.S. has deferred payments to international organizations through this account for at least nine months—into the next fiscal year. That means that though the fiscal year for international organizations begins on January 1, the U.S. does not provide payment until October 1, or when the State/Foreign Operations appropriations bills pass. This delay leaves the U.S. chronically behind and requires the international organizations affected to take fiscally undesirable measures to meet their payroll and other obligations, including extensive borrowing.
Paying Our Dues: UN Peacekeeping Budget Although the UN’s peacekeeping budget is separate from the regular budget, it is also financed by assessments to member states. The UN’s peacekeeping assessment formula mirrors the regular budget rate structure but gives greater discounts to poorer nations. The resulting funding deficit is compensated for by the five permanent members of the Security Council—the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China. At the Security Council, each of these five has unique voting and veto rights to authorize or suspend any peacekeeping operation, meaning that peacekeeping missions can only be authorized with affirmative U.S. approval. And while the permanent members of the Security Council pay a slightly higher rate for peacekeeping operations, the vast majority of UN peacekeepers come from developing countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Ghana. The U.S. assessed contributions to the UN’s peacekeeping operations are funded through the State Department’s Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account. Funding Levels for UN Regular & Peacekeeping Budget In 2010, Congress honored its obligations and fully funded the regular and peacekeeping budgets, returning the U.S. to good financial standing at the UN. In addition, in 2009, the U.S. paid UN arrears which had accrued since 2005. In the coming year, it is critical that Congress maintain its support. Full UN funding ensures it can carry out its vital work stabilizing conflict regions and promoting democratic governance, all of which serves U.S. foreign policy interests and shares the burden of fostering peace and sustainable development around the world. As the U.S. is the UN’s largest contributor, Congressional funding shortfalls significantly impact the UN’s ability to carry out its operations.
Voluntary Contributions Voluntary contributions are, as the name implies, voluntary rather than assessed payments and left to the discretion of each member state. U.S. contributions, as a member state, finance most of the UN’s humanitarian relief and development agencies including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Program (WFP), and the UN Development Program (UNDP). The majority of U.S. voluntary contributions are financed through the State Department’s International Organizations and Programs account. Funding Levels for Voluntary Accounts The UN agencies undertake activities vital to U.S. interests that would be difficult, if not impossible, for the U.S. to undertake alone. For example, UNICEF supplies vaccines to more than 40 percent of the world’s children; WFP annually ships 5.1 million tons of food to 113 million of the world’s hungry, including to school lunch programs in 72 countries; and UNDP supports, on average, one free and democratic election somewhere in the world every two weeks. The U.S. exercises considerable influence among voluntary agencies and many countries follow the U.S. lead in making voluntary contributions. If the U.S. contributes less than in earlier years, other donors may follow suit, which would magnify U.S. funding cuts for UN voluntary programs. In addition, because many projects are cooperative efforts by a number of UN agencies, U.S. cutbacks to one agency also affect programs in other agencies. 39
Recent Reforms at the UN In order to meet the challenges of the 21st century and to ensure member states’ resources are used most effectively, the United Nations continues to update its operations and management practices. Changes have taken place in nearly every area of UN operations, from the management of peacekeeping missions, to tougher ethics rules, to streamlined budget processes, to delivery of humanitarian aid on the ground. However, reform takes concerted engagement by all member states and positive U.S. leadership—along with that of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon—will be essential to continuing the reform agenda in 2011.
Recent Steps to Enhance Effectiveness In less than five years, the UN has created new mechanisms and achieved global consensus on enhancing UN operations through a number of reforms, including: Management and Oversight Reforms: The UN has strengthened oversight, doubling the capacity of its audit and investigations’ body and making procurement investigations a permanent feature. The UN has also stopped issuing permanent contracts to new employees, overhauled the internal justice system, and expanded public access to budgets, audits, and procurement information. The General Assembly approved a package of reforms to enhance accountability, including replacing the UN’s information technology systems, establishing a new resource planning system that automates business functions and transaction costs, potentially saving the UN hundreds of millions of dollars, and adopting International Public Accounting Standards. The UN has also moved from print to electronic distribution of UN documents to reduce costs. Ethics: An Ethics Office was created to manage the UN’s financial disclosure and conflict of interest policy and whistleblower protection policies as well as to provide mandatory training to UN staff on ethics practices and policies. Under the financial disclosure and conflict of interest policy, all UN senior officials and those staff with fiduciary responsibilities are required to report every year. The UN also put in force a whistleblower protection policy considered by the Government Accountability Project to be the “gold standard” among public institutions and is stronger than that of the U.S. government’s. Peacekeeping Reform: The UN has begun implementing the Global Field Support Strategy, a five year project to transform the delivery of support to UN peacekeeping and political field missions by enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of services. The strategy better protects civilians and allows missions to deploy more quickly. The finance, personnel, logistics, and communications support previously housed in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has been separated out into the Department of Field Support (DFS) allowing DPKO to retain a focuses on strategy, policy, and planning. Combating Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: The UN’s approach to addressing sexual exploitation and abuse among peacekeepers is now so advanced that NATO is consulting with UN officials on how to best deal with sex crimes. The UN has established mandatory conduct, discipline, and awareness training for all troops and staff through 14 Conduct and 40
Discipline Teams and launched outreach campaigns to educate the local population on how to report allegations; moved investigators and support staff to regional hubs in order to speed investigation of allegations and reduce costs; followed up on every substantiated sexual abuse and exploitation case to ensure that all violators are repatriated; begun issuing quarterly press releases to make public statistics regarding sexual abuse and exploitation cases in field missions; and provided victims with assistance, including medical and legal care. Delivering as One: The UN launched the Delivering as One reform initiative in 2007-08 in eight pilot countries. The initiative streamlines the work of all UN organizations operating in a country, reduces overlap, shares administrative costs, and implements programs together. Already UN agencies have begun working together under one roof. This has been so effective at cutting costs and creating efficiencies that over 20 additional country governments that asked to participate are now implementing it as well. UN Women: Four UN organizations addressing gender issues have consolidated into a single entity called UN Women, which started work on January 1, 2011. UN Women gives women’s issues a stronger voice while reducing overlap and enhancing policy coherence and financial efficiency. Terrorism: The General Assembly reached consensus in 2006 on a Global CounterTerrorism Strategy—the first time that all 192 UN member states have agreed to take specific measures to curb terrorist activity and to a common approach to fighting terrorism. Democracy Fund (UNDEF): First proposed by President Bush in a speech before the General Assembly in 2004, UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. The large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations—both in the transition and consolidation phases of democratization. UNDEF subsists entirely on voluntary contributions.
Reform Agenda for 2011 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon remains committed to a strong reform agenda in 2011, promising to continue measures to ensure that the UN can meet new demands and deliver vital services in the most effective and efficient ways. These include ensuring continued implementation of the Global Field Support Strategy and the Delivery as One program and ensuring UN Women can deliver on its mandate. Additional reform is needed at the UN, but these far-reaching reforms cannot progress without some cost. For example, improving the UN’s ability to ensure that every program is adequately evaluated will entail funds and staff support – something that is not built into program costs. Making sure these reform efforts are successful requires member states—particularly the U.S.—to engage. Withholding money from the UN budget in order to force reform, as some U.S. policymakers have suggested, would be more of an obstacle to reform than a catalyst to encourage it. This approach alienates our allies, whose support the U.S. needs to push for changes, and sends a signal that the U.S. is more interested in weakening the UN than making it effective.
Key International Agreements The United Nations provides a platform for nations to work together to establish international norms, standards, and agreements in the common interest of all nations. In recent decades, the UN has facilitated negotiation of critical international treaties on issues ranging from trade and commerce to the environment and human rights. Historically, the United States has played a leading role in fostering the development of international law. But the U.S. has not ratified a handful of international treaties and agreements, such as the Law of the Sea, the ‘Women’s Treaty,’ and certain arms control agreements. With the passage of the New START, the U.S. Senate is likely to consider a number of outstanding treaties. Below is a summary of some of the key agreements that the Senate may consider in the 112th Congress and some of the actions the U.S. government has already taken on important international agreements.
Treaties Under Consideration UN Convention on the Law of the Sea The U.S. has signed, but not ratified, the UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). That treaty is a set of rules, negotiated by member states, governing the use of the world’s oceans. It defines maritime zones and boundaries; creates legally secured navigation and resource usage rights; and sets standards for protecting the marine environment, sustaining fishing stocks, and preventing pollution from land and air sources. Leaders of both political parties, the Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Navy, environmental organizations, and all major ocean industry groups—including fishing, undersea cable, and oil companies – support ratification. The treaty has been ratified by 160 UN member states, and although the U.S. helped draft the treaty and was able to secure all of its objectives during negotiations, the U.S. is the only major naval power that has not ratified the treaty. Those who object to U.S. ratification contend doing so would surrender U.S. sovereignty, result in what they call a “UN tax,” or restrict activities of the U.S. Navy. All three claims are untrue: joining the treaty would actually increase U.S. ocean territory by 4.1 million square miles; the U.S. would incur no taxes, and UNCLOS has no jurisdiction over U.S. military activities. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) functions as “an international bill of rights for women.” It provides a definition of discrimination against women, affirms women’s equality to men, and commits states to ensuring that women receive the same rights as men. Signatories of the treaty agree to take
appropriate measures to enforce and protect these rights and to work to prevent and punish all forms of discrimination. All developed nations except for the U.S., 186 countries in all, have ratified CEDAW. U.S. opponents of the treaty contend that CEDAW bears a ‘radical feminist’ agenda and supports abortion. That almost the entire world outside the U.S. supports the treaty, including countries where abortion is illegal, belies the former claim, and the latter charge is simply untrue: CEDAW makes no mention of abortion, and the U.S. Department of State deemed it “abortion neutral.” Despite concerns to the contrary, CEDAW would not force the U.S. to change our laws; as with other international agreements, implementation of the convention’s provisions is the sovereign right of the U.S. government. Convention on the Rights of the Child The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recognizes the basic human rights of children under 18 years old. It obliges states party to it to protect children, ensure their access to education and health care, and provide them a safe upbringing that takes their best interests into account, all without discrimination. UNICEF describes CRC as the “most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history.” Only the U.S. and Somalia—which lacks a functioning government—have not yet ratified the treaty. In the U.S., opponents of the CRC believe that it would undermine U.S. state and federal law. However, the U.S. government alone would determine how to implement the CRC, as with CEDAW and other international treaties. Nothing in the CRC would contravene any current U.S. policies on the rights of children and no requirements would be imposed on the U.S.
Banning Landmines and Cluster Bombs The 1997, Mine Ban Treaty, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, prohibited all anti-personnel landmines. This agreement commits countries to stopping the production of landmines, clearing mined areas within ten years, and destroying all stockpiles of mines within four years. The U.S. has 11 million of these weapons stockpiled. Landmines maim or kill an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people each year. The Mine Ban Treaty has been signed by 156 countries but not by the U.S. or countries like Russia, China, Iran, Libya, and North Korea. The U.S. has objected because the agreement lacks a Korean exception to allow the one million landmines in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea to remain. The U.S. opposition puts it at odds with the rest of the world, and the U.S. insistence on the Korean exceptions risks allowing countries like North Korea to declare and retain landmines for use as countermeasures. In 2009, the Obama Administration announced that it was conducting a comprehensive review of its landmine policy, including whether the U.S. should join the Mine Ban Treaty. While the Administration has sent an official delegation to both the 2009 and 2010 Mine Ban Treaty state-parties meeting, it still has not decided whether to sign onto the accord. In May of 2010, 68 Senators delivered a letter applauding President Obama for his decision to conduct a comprehensive review: "We are confident that through a thorough, deliberative 43
review the Administration can identify any obstacles to joining the Convention and develop a plan to overcome them as soon as possible." With respect to cluster munitions, a particularly devastating type of bomb that has killed and maimed thousands of civilians, the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted in May 2008. It currently has 108 signatories and has been ratified by 50 states, but not by the U.S. Those that do not support the treaty—including Russia, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan— are all major cluster bomb producers or users. Though the convention entered into force in August 2010, the Obama Administration has not reviewed U.S. policy on cluster munitions or the convention.
International Criminal Court The Rome Statute, which went into force in 2002, established the International Criminal Court, a judicial body based in The Hague, Netherlands and tasked with trying crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. One hundred and fourteen countries—including nearly all of Europe—are party to the Rome Statute, and an additional 34 countries have signed but not ratified the agreement. The Court is not a UN body and differs from the UN International Court of Justice, which negotiates disputes between states. The Clinton Administration originally signed the Rome Statute, but opted not to present it to the Senate for ratification. The Bush Administration then “unsigned” the treaty, relieving the U.S. of any legal obligations to the court. Opponents in the U.S. fear that countries could use the ICC to prosecute American armed forces abroad, even though the Rome Statue contains provisions that would ensure this would not occur. In 2006, the Bush Administration abstained on a Security Council vote referring Sudan to the ICC, which allowed the referral to pass and broke with long-standing U.S. policy of vetoing resolutions involving the ICC. Since then, the U.S. has supported the ICC’s efforts in Sudan, even promising to veto any attempt to suspend ICC jurisdiction there. Since 2009, the Obama Administration has been positively engaged with the Court, but it has not adopted an official policy, instead opting to consider on a case by case basis the various issues relating to the court. A U.S. delegation did attend the 2010 ICC Review Conference and, in contrast with the previous administration, took part in the Assembly of State Parties, which allows the U.S. to exercise our observer status, participating in important and timely discussions (but not decisions).
Actions Taken during 111th Congress The following is a list of actions taken by the U.S. government on key international agreements: •
The U.S. joined consensus resolutions in the General Assembly on the Right to Food, the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The Obama Administration also reversed U.S. policy on the non-binding Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples resolution which it had voted against since the General Assembly adopted it in 2007; the announcement of 44
U.S. support in December 2010 caused Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the other three countries that had voted against it, to reverse their positions as well; •
In September 2009, President Obama became the first U.S. president to chair a summitlevel meeting of the Security Council, which focused on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. As a result of the meeting, the council unanimously adopted Resolution 1887 strengthening the non-proliferation regime with provisions to deter withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and endorsed stricter export controls and safeguards. The U.S. also participated in the 2010 NPT Review Conference, which reenergized multilateral efforts to safeguard international security and renewed commitments to the shared goals of the NPT;
The Obama Administration formally signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009 and also co-sponsored a resolution on the convention in the General Assembly;
For the first time in a decade, the U.S. endorsed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, indicating our support by participating at the Secretary of State level in the CTBT Article XIV Conference in September 2009 and pledging to move forward with its ratification in Congress;
The U.S. is actively moving forward with negotiations on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) to end the production of fissile material at the Conference on Disarmament; and
The U.S. has demonstrated support for a legally-binding arms trade treaty by backing an October 2009 resolution to convene a UN Conference in 2012.
The UN Security Council The UN Security Council is the world’s primary body charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. The five permanent members of the Security Council are China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States; ten other members each serve two-year terms. Regional groups choose rotating members who are confirmed by a two-thirds vote of the UN General Assembly. The African Group has three members; the Eastern European Group has one; and the Latin America and the Caribbean Group, the Asian Group, and the Western Europe and Others Group each have two. Non-permanent Security Council members serve two-year non-consecutive terms. In October 2010, South Africa, India, Colombia, Germany, and Portugal were chosen. The other non-permanent members completing the second year of their terms in 2011 are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon, and Nigeria. Notably, the 2011 composition of the Security Council includes emerging regional powers and new major economies.
History and Relevance On October 24, 1945, the World War II victors ratified the UN Charter, creating the Security Council and establishing themselves as its five permanent members with the unique ability to veto resolutions. Originally, there were six temporary members, rotating every two years and distributed on an equitable geographic basis. That rule was more explicitly defined in 1965, when the number of temporary members was increased to ten. The UN Charter established the Security Council’s purpose: “Investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security” and to act accordingly by: •
Investigating any situation threatening international peace;
Recommending procedures for peaceful resolution of a dispute;
Calling upon other member nations to completely or partially interrupt economic relations as well as sea, air, postal, and radio communications, or to sever diplomatic relations; and
Enforcing its decisions militarily, if necessary.
On January 17, 1946, the Security Council met for the first time in London. The first UN peacekeeping mission was deployed in 1948 to the Middle East, and over the last 60 years, the Security Council defused innumerable international crises and strengthened international cooperation on counter-terrorism and non-proliferation. Through Security Council resolutions, the UN has undertaken 64 peacekeeping and political field missions in the most dangerous places in the world, helped implement 172 peaceful settlements that have ended 46
conflicts, and enabled millions of people in more than 46 countries to take part in free and fair elections to pave the way to greater democracy.
Reform and Enlargement There have been frequent calls to enlarge the Security Council’s membership in order to preserve the UN Security Council’s legitimacy and ensure that it reflects today’s global power and economic realities. The most popular reform proposal would accept Japan, Germany, India, and Brazil (known as the G4) as permanent members. Japan and Germany are among the largest contributors to the UN budget. India is a nuclear power, the world’s largest democracy, and the second most populous nation. Brazil is the largest, most populous, and most prosperous nation in Latin America. The United Kingdom, France, and Russia reportedly support permanent membership for these countries, although not necessarily with veto power. The Obama Administration recently expressed its support for permanent seats for Japan and India. Regional groups and individual countries have floated several other proposals; the Security Council has not responded positively to any of them. Veto power is a key element in moving forward on Security Council reform. It can prevent the adoption of any substantive draft council resolution, regardless of the level of international support for the draft. Currently, the five permanent members of the Security Council (the so-called P-5) are the only members who have such authority. Some have proposed that a reformed Security Council grant the veto to new members or restrict the use of the veto to the P-5 nations. The U.S. and other P-5 members, however, strongly resist diluting or weakening the veto, and the U.S. has publically opposed any reform which alters the veto structure. Additionally, the Obama Administration has stated that any Security Council reform should ensure that the council remains an effective instrument, as some fear that additional members may make reaching decisions more difficult. U.S. support for certain members is often based on whether those new members would vote in a way that reflects American values and interests. Changes to the Security Council require the unanimous agreement of the P-5, and some P-5 members may threaten to veto giving a permanent seat to their regional competitors. To get around these obstacles and increase the legitimacy of the council, some have proposed reforming current working methods to allow non-permanent countries to be represented. This could include holding sessions in which, for instance, countries contributing peacekeeping troops and other UN members have a chance to voice their views.
The UN General Assembly The General Assembly is the world’s primary deliberative body with universal representation. While the exclusive Security Council grants unique veto rights to five nations, all 192 UN member states have equal voting rights in the General Assembly making it unique among world bodies. The General Assembly admits new UN members and elects members to other UN organs. It is the primary platform for the dialogue between developed and developing states. Among its duties are: •
Reviewing reports from the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council;
Making recommendations on international political cooperation;
Developing and systematizing international collaboration in economic, social, cultural, educational, and health fields;
Counseling and encouraging peaceful settlement of hostile situations among nations;
Appointing the Secretary-General in conjunction with the Security Council, electing the other ten non-permanent members of the Security Council, judges of the International Court of Justice, and members of the Economic and Social Council; and
Setting the UN budget and approving budget-related decisions that affect the functioning of the Secretariat.
Voting and Sessions Each September, a new General Assembly session convenes at UN headquarters in New York City with two weeks of open debate during which many world leaders address the body directly. This event provides heads of state and government the only universal forum in which to address one another. After these world leaders return to their capitals, representatives from their missions in New York continue to debate issues in a session that typically suspends in late December and reconvenes as needed throughout the following year. All 192 UN member states vote in the General Assembly. Additionally, several entities, such as the Vatican, have non-voting, observer status allowing them to participate in debate but not vote. Recommendations on peace and security, the election of members to organs, the admission, suspension, and expulsion of members, and budgetary matters each require a two-thirds majority of those present and voting to pass. Resolutions on all other matters only require a simple majority; budgets are now adopted by consensus. Aside from budgetary matters that relate to setting the budget for the UN Secretariat, resolutions are non-binding on member states. 48
The UN Security Council or a majority of member states can request an emergency or special session of the General Assembly. Examples of extra sessions include an emergency session in 1950 on North and South Korea and two recent special sessions, one to adopt the Millennium Development Declaration in 2000 and another to set a UN reform agenda in 2005.
Structure A president, elected prior to the annual opening session, heads the General Assembly and helps set its agenda. Joseph Deiss of Switzerland is the current president of the General Assembly now in its 65th session. The General Assembly has six main committees of the whole: Disarmament and International Security; Economic and Financial; Social, Cultural and Humanitarian; Special Political and Decolonization; Administrative and Budgetary; and Legal. There are seven commissions, including the International Law Commission and the Peacebuilding Commission. There are also smaller councils and panels, such as the Human Rights Council, and other committees covering a broad range of topics, such as the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Finally, representatives meet in working groups to discuss particular issues.
History and Relevance Although General Assembly resolutions are non-binding on member states, they often have a dramatic and lasting effect. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is, perhaps, the most famous General Assembly Declaration. Passed in 1948, largely due to the efforts of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, this document has become the guidebook for human rights. The United for Peace Resolution, passed in 1950 allowing police action to protect South Korea from North Korean aggression, is also notable. More recently, in 2000, the General Assembly adopted a Millennium Development Declaration to achieve specific goals related to poverty, illiteracy, health, and environmental progress by 2015. And in 2005, the General Assembly passed a resolution, the World Summit Outcome, for comprehensive reform to make the organization more efficient, transparent, accountable, and enable it to better address human rights, peacebuilding, and protection challenges.
The UN Secretariat The UN Secretariat, headed by the Secretary-General and staffed by 44,000 personnel throughout the world, carries out the day-to-day work of managing the general operations of the United Nations globally. It implements mandates adopted by the General Assembly, the Security Council, and the Economic and Social Council, by administering programs and policies, staffing member state negotiations, and providing them with information so that they may exercise effective oversight of the UN’s activities. The UN Secretariat includes peacekeeping operations but does not include funds, programs, and agencies that have their own independent executive boards.
Areas of Work Although the work of the Secretariat changes according to the work of the UN, some of its main functions include planning and managing UN peacekeeping operations, mediating international disputes and supporting the Secretary-General’s good offices function, assisting in the implementation of Security Council decisions and sanctions, coordinating disaster relief across dozens of humanitarian organizations, informing international media about the work of the UN, promoting social and economic development and tracking statistics and research on progress made, and planning and facilitating discussion and meetings among 192 countries on a daily basis, which includes translating documents and speeches into the UN’s six official languages. All of this is done with an annual budget of approximately $2.5 billion, a budget smaller than the annual budget of the New York City Police Department. The United States contributes 22 percent of the budget of the UN Secretariat.
Leadership The Secretariat is led by the UN Secretary-General, who is selected every five years by the Security Council and approved by the General Assembly. Although there is no formal limit to the number of five-year terms a Secretary-General may serve, they generally serve no more than two. Candidacies for the position have traditionally been considered on the basis of regional rotation among the continents. The current Secretary-General of the United Nations is Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, who assumed office on January 1, 2007.
Key Departments of the UN Secretariat Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO): This critical department is in charge of managing the many UN peacekeeping missions, giving political and executive direction to the missions, and maintaining contact with the Security Council, troop and financial contributors, and parties to conflicts. Department of Field Support (DFS): Created in 2007, DFS coordinates the provision of support to peacekeeping operations and special political and/or peacebuilding missions in the areas of logistics, information and communications technology, finance, and human 50
resources. It also has the critical responsibility for overseeing the Conduct and Discipline Unit (CDU), which formulates all policy on training, outreach and discipline in field missions, and implements a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): This office mobilizes and coordinates humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in event of disasters and emergencies. OCHA advocates for the rights of people in need; promotes preparedness and prevention; and facilitates sustainable solutions. Department of Management: This body manages the UN budget, human resources, and central services, putting it in charge of everything from financing lifesaving peacekeeping missions, to information technology, to the renovation of UN headquarters. Department of Public Information (DPI): This department provides valuable services that inform the world about the UN, such as the UN News Centre and UN Radio, while also managing UN publications, the UNâ€™s Dag HammarskjĂśld Library, and the UN CyberSchoolBus, which is an initiative to educate children about international issues. Department of Political Affairs (DPA): The Department of Political Affairs plays a central role in working to prevent and resolve deadly conflict around the globe and to promote lasting peace in societies emerging from wars by monitoring and assessing global political developments. DPA advises the Secretary-General on how to advance the cause of peace and provides support and guidance to UN peace envoys and political missions in the field. DPA also gives electoral assistance to member states. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS): This office provides internal oversight advice to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly on their obligations to oversee UN programs and ensure that they comply with resolutions, regulations, rules, and policies. OIOS is focused on helping the Secretary-General and the General Assembly prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, malfeasance, or mismanagement and has the authority to monitor, audit, inspect, evaluate, or investigate any UN activity necessary to support the SecretaryGeneral in fulfilling his oversight responsibilities.
International Civil Servants As international civil servants, the Secretary-General and his staff answer to all 192 UN member states for their activities and take an oath not to seek or receive instructions from any one government, groups of governments or outside authority. This is to prevent any one country from having undue influence over the activities of the UN. Under the Charter, each member state pledges to respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Secretary-General and his staff and to refrain from seeking to influence them as they exercise their duties.
UN Agencies, Funds, and Programs The UN system is comprised of the UN, whose headquarters are in New York, and more than 30 affiliated organizations—known as programs, funds, and specialized agencies—with their own membership, leadership, and budget processes. These groups work with and through the UN to promote worldwide peace and prosperity.
UN Programs and Funds UN programs and funds are financed through voluntary contributions rather than assessed contributions. These programs and funds include: •
United Nations Development Program (UNDP): On the ground in 166 countries, UNDP is the UN’s global development network, focusing on the challenges of democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, energy and environment, and HIV/AIDS. UNDP coordinates national and international efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at poverty reduction. UNDP also publishes the annual Human Development Report. In the field, UNDP helped Liberia prepare for the national elections that put Africa’s first woman president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, in office, helped Thailand build solar-powered water pumping stations, and administered a cash-for-work program in Haiti to jumpstart the local economy in the aftermath of the earthquake. Helen Clark of New Zealand heads UNDP;
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF): UNICEF provides long-term humanitarian and development assistance to children and mothers. Recent UNICEF initiatives have included helping girls enroll and stay in school in 34 African countries, providing polio vaccines for 5.5 million children in Angola, and reintegrating child soldiers in Sierra Leone into civil society. Anthony Lake of the United States heads UNICEF;
World Food Program (WFP): WFP, which aims to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, is the world’s largest humanitarian agency. Every year, the program feeds an average of over 90 million people in more than 70 countries and rapidly deploys to some of the world’s worst natural and man-made crises. WFP recently delivered aid to Burma following Cyclone Nargis, to Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake, and to Pakistan following the flooding. At the height of the emergency response in Haiti, WFP was feeding one third of the population, roughly 3 million people, and in Pakistan, has fed over 7.5 million people since the beginning of the flooding in July 2010. Josette Sheeran of the United States heads the WFP;
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, UNHCR protects refugees worldwide and facilitates their resettlement or return home. UNHCR is working on the ground in over 110 countries, helping 34 million people in areas including Libya, Lebanon, Darfur, Southern Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNHCR led the first humanitarian aid delivery behind rebel lines since fighting broke out in August 2008, 52
delivering 36 tons of water tablets, food, medicine, plastic sheeting, blankets, and kitchen sets. Antonio Guterres of Portugal heads UNHCR; •
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC): UNODC helps member states fight illicit drugs, crime, and terrorism, including assisting them in the implementation of relevant international treaties. It also works to improve cross-border cooperation on human trafficking and counter-terrorism. Yury Fedotov of Russia heads UNODC;
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA): UNFPA is the world’s largest source of assistance for programs supporting women’s health and the rights of women. With support from more than 180 countries, UNFPA helps women, men, and young people plan their families and avoid unwanted pregnancies, go through pregnancy and childbirth safely, avoid sexually transmitted infections, combat violence against women, and promote the equality of women. Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin of Nigeria heads the UNFPA; and
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP): UNEP coordinates the UN’s environmental activities. It develops international environmental conventions, assesses global environmental trends, encourages new civil sector partnerships, and strengthens institutions so they can better protect the environment. Achim Steiner, a German and Brazilian national, heads UNEP.
UN Specialized Agencies The UN specialized agencies are autonomous organizations working with the UN and funded by both voluntary and assessed contributions. These agencies include: •
UN Women: In July 2010, the UN General Assembly voted unanimously to create a new entity to accelerate progress in meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide, and in January 2011, UN Women began its work. The creation of this agency is an important step in the UN reform agenda that brings together resources and mandates for greater impact. Former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet is the head of this agency;
World Bank: The World Bank focuses on poverty reduction and the improvement of living standards worldwide by providing low-interest loans, interest-free credit, and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, and communications, among other things. The World Bank works in over 100 countries. Mr. Robert B. Zoellick of the United States is the 11th president of the World Bank;
International Monetary Fund (IMF): The IMF is an organization of 185 countries that fosters global monetary cooperation, facilitates international trade, promotes high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduces poverty. It offers financial and technical assistance to its members, making it an international lender of last resort. The IMF currently has $28 billion in outstanding loans to 74 nations. Dominique Strauss-Kahn of France heads the IMF;
World Health Organization (WHO): WHO acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. It is responsible for leading during public health emergencies, spearheading global vaccination efforts, and developing campaigns to eradicate lifethreatening diseases like polio and malaria. WHO shapes the health research agenda, sets norms and standards, provides technical support to countries, and monitors and assesses health trends. In 2009 and 2010, WHO steered efforts to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus. Dr. Margaret Chan of China heads WHO;
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): UNESCO pursues its objectives through programs in five major areas: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. UNESCO sponsors projects and programs, including many on: literacy, technical education, teacher-training, international science, independent media and freedom of the press, and regional and cultural history. UNESCO also manages international cooperation agreements to secure the world’s cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Sites) and works to bridge the world-wide digital divide. Ms. Irina Bokova of Bulgaria heads UNESCO;
International Labor Organization (ILO): ILO formulates international standards on the freedom to associate, collective bargaining, the abolition of forced labor, and equality of opportunity and treatment. Mr. Juan Somavia of Chile heads the ILO;
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): FAO leads international efforts to fight hunger. It is both a forum for negotiating agreements between developing and developed countries and a source of technical knowledge and information to aid development. Dr. Jaques Diouf of Senegal heads FAO;
International Maritime Organization (IMO): IMO has created a comprehensive shipping regulatory framework, addressing safety and environmental concerns, legal matters, technical cooperation, security, and efficiency. The IMO safety and security standards are central to the U.S. and world economy because 90 percent of international trade is carried out via shipping channels. Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos of Greece heads the IMO;
World Meteorological Organization (WMO): WMO facilitates the free international exchange of meteorological data and information and furthers its use in aviation, shipping, security, and agriculture, among other things. Mr. Michel Jarraud of France heads WMO;
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): WMO and UNEP created the IPCC, a scientific intergovernmental body, in 1988 to provide decision makers and others with an objective source of information about climate change. The IPCC does not conduct research or monitor climate-related data or parameters. Its role is to assess, on a comprehensive, objective, and transparent basis, the latest scientific, technical, and socioeconomic literature relevant to understanding climate change caused by humans, its observed and projected impacts, and options for adapting to it and mitigating it. Dr. Renate Christ of Austria heads the IPCC;
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): Operating through 23 international treaties, WIPO protects intellectual property throughout the world. Mr. Francis Gurry of Australia heads WIPO; and
International Civilian Aviation Organization (ICAO): ICAO sets international rules on air navigation, the investigation of air accidents, and aerial border-crossing procedures. The ICAO works with the U.S. to set stricter international regulations limiting environmental degradation, standardizing biometric passports for all member states, allowing for improved cross border security, and conducting safety audits to ensure airline safety standards are implemented. These standards and regulations, in turn, guide the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in their interactions with international airlines and allows for the safe travel of aircrafts worldwide. The president of ICAO is Mr. Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez of Mexico.
The Capital Master Plan The UN Secretariat Building is a prized piece of architecture for New York City and the United States. It is also a powerful symbol of hope and peace for millions around the world. However, it is currently unsafe. Built in the early 1950s, the complex was designed to accommodate 60 member nations. Current UN membership stands at 192, and while the headquarters has aged considerably, it has never been substantially renovated. The Capital Master Plan (CMP), the plan to renovate UN headquarters, will not significantly change the external appearance of the building but will update the building’s internal structures which have become dangerously outdated and do not adhere to today’s New York City building safety codes.
Unsafe and Unacceptable Almost ten years ago, a team of architects and engineers studied the buildings and grounds, concluding that “the current condition of the headquarters complex is unacceptable for continued use over the long term.” Today, the headquarters buildings fail to comply with fire and safety codes, and archaic infrastructure causes significant energy waste. Specific problems include asbestos, lead paint, outdated electrical systems, an inadequate fire alarm, lack of sprinklers, poor or no fire separation between buildings, possibility of high-pressure steam line explosions, falling ceilings, and leaky pipes. A June 2006 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report confirmed that the building lacks “fire sprinklers, has a deteriorating window structure, and is vulnerable to catastrophic electrical failures.” Ensuring the safety of the building protects not only the people who visit it, and work within it but also first responders in the area who would assist in an emergency.
The Capital Master Plan: On Schedule and within Budget The CMP was initially presented to member states in 2000. In June 2006, the General Assembly agreed to renovate the Secretariat building 10 floors at a time, moving displaced UN staff and functions to rented office space and a temporary building to be built on the north lawn of the headquarters. In 2008, however, the renovation plan was modified to save costs and speed up the process. To do this, each building will now be modified in a single phase. The renovations in the Secretariat and Conference Buildings began in early 2010, and nearly 6,000 staff have relocated to temporary offices. The UN estimates that the renovation will be complete in 2013, two years ahead of the initial deadline. The renovation will reduce the energy consumed at UN headquarters by at least 50 percent, its greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent, and water consumption by 40 percent. Design initiatives such as enhancing the building envelope to prevent energy leakage, utilizing energy-efficient lighting and a daylight harvesting system, and implementing an electricsteam heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system will lower operating costs, maximize energy efficiency, and substantially reduce the carbon footprint of the UN. Many upgrades will also enhance the safety and security of all delegates, staff, and visitors who visit UN Headquarters. 56
Paying Our Share All UN member states agreed to pay a share of the costs of the renovation equal to their share of the UN regular budget. This means that the U.S. will pay 22 percent of the $1.88 billion cost of the project. In addition, at the behest of the New York Police Department, the State Department has committed $100 million – transferred from surplus payments to the UN Tax Equalization Fund—to secure the perimeter and harden buildings at the UN. Since the UN has become a terrorist target, the NYPD requested the payment to protect against any potential attack, which we – as the host nation—have a legal obligation to secure. It is critical that all payments made to the CMP be made on time and in full, helping to ensure that the project is completed on time and ensure the safety of those who work in and visit the UN headquarters.
Economic Benefits to the U.S. Renovation of the headquarters in New York began in 2008 and will end in 2013. American companies have been awarded seventy-three of the seventy-five contracts issued so far, a total investment of more than $1.4 billion in the U.S. economy over five years. With the U.S. funding 22 percent ($383 million) of the total project budget; this means that for every dollar the U.S. puts into the Capital Master Plan, it gets back $3.65.
Improved Oversight and Streamlined Procurement Even now, several years into the project, some members of Congress still object to the CMP and have called for withholding the U.S. contribution to the renovations. The GAO has extensively studied the CMP and consistently determined that UN cost estimates are reasonable, the plans follow industry best practices, and the renovation should move forward. Streamlining procurement has allowed the UN to decide what to buy more efficiently and reduced the risk of cost increases due to delay. The GAO says these changes show “the division’s commitment to and understanding of the need for timely decision making while maintaining controls for transparency and accountability.” In addition, a 2008 GAO report applauded the increase in resources dedicated to oversight, which had previously been limited due to lack of staff. As a result the GAO found “no reports of corruption or mismanagement in procurements related to the CMP.” Furthermore, based on a recommendation by the General Assembly, the UN SecretaryGeneral appointed a U.S.-chaired advisory board to the CMP, which will serve as another oversight mechanism in the process.
Americans at the UN The United Nations employs more than 1,800 Americans in the United States and thousands of others in UN offices abroad. A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found that, while Americans are equitably represented in the Secretariat and the main offices of UN headquarters under the supervision of the Secretary-General, Americans are underrepresented in some UN agencies. The GAO report did note, however, that Americans comprise the largest number of staff in all professional positions within the agencies it reviewed. Provided below are examples of Americans in leadership roles at the UN: •
The Independent Audit Advisory Committee, which oversees the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), is currently chaired by David Walker, formerly the U.S. Comptroller General and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO);
World Food Program Executive Director Josette Sheeran oversees the world’s largest humanitarian agency addressing hunger; the WFP provides food to over 90 million people in more than 70 countries each year. Sheeran is also serving a two-year term as chair of the High Level Committee on Management, which ensures coordination in administrative and management issues across the UN system;
UN Children’s Fund Executive Director Anthony Lake, who began serving in May 2010, leads global efforts to promote the protection of children’s rights in 190 countries. UNICEF’s work on behalf of children includes education, HIV/AIDS prevention, protection from abuse, and other activities that save lives, such as the provision of vaccines, nutritional supplements, and anti-malarial bed nets;
The Under-Secretary-General of the UN’s Department of Safety and Security, Gregory Starr, formerly the director of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service at the State Department, develops and implements UN security policies and programs for UN headquarters and its overseas locations. He works closely with the U.S. government on security issues raised by the UN headquarters’ renovation under the Capital Master Plan;
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe, since March 2007, has managed the Department of Political Affairs, which plays a key role in UN efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts around the world. He also advises the Secretary-General on global peace and security issues, working closely with political missions and peace envoys on the ground;
Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning and Policy Coordination Robert C. Orr serves in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, running the Secretary-General’s Policy Committee. He advises the office on a range of strategic issues such as climate change, global health, counter-terrorism, and UN reform; and
The Executive Director of the renovation of UN Headquarters, called the Capital Master Plan, is Michael Adlerstein, who was the Vice President and architect of the 58
New York Botanical Garden and the project director for the restoration of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Other Americans serving UN leadership positions include: •
Former President Bill Clinton, the UN Special Envoy for Haiti; and Dr. Paul Farmer, UN Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti;
Ray Chambers, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria;
Anthony Banbury, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support;
Roger Meece, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO);
Matthew Nimetz, Secretary-General’s Envoy for talks between Greece and Macedonia;
Edward Luck, Secretary-General’s Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P); and
William Davis, Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Washington, DC.