I ws told, some time back, that the US govt hadn't paid its UN dues… - Grin with cat attached — LiveJournal
Previous Entry Next Entry
Oct. 1st, 2002 05:19 pm
I ws told, some time back, that the US govt hadn't paid its UN dues in about 10 years. Does anyone know if they've yet done this, and if not, how long it's been since they paid up?

From: kaet
Date: October 1st, 2002 - 09:46 am (Link)
Afaik, money equivalent to the dues have been paid personally by Ted Turner of CNN each year that the US refused to pay. Afaik, the US are still not paying.
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
From: wechsler
Date: October 1st, 2002 - 12:05 pm (Link)
Lovely. Be nice if the rest if us could just decide not to pay our bills because we'd spent the money on something else, wouldn't it?
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
From: kaet
Date: October 1st, 2002 - 04:47 pm (Link)
I don't see how that might be true. If the US paid cash instead, then they might set up shop in Geneva or wherever if the costs were overbearing. Who really cares if the UN, or the WHO, or IMF, or ILO (whatever happened to the ILO) are in NYC or elsewhere, in Geneva or Warsaw, say? I imagine the Swiss, say, are already pretty keyed up for the old world-leader security thing, there might be an ecomony of scale there. The US offered NY as headquarters, they can't then say that it wasn't a gift but a payment in kind for some contract. Like if I gave an electricity company a coil of cable as a gift they might accept it, but forty years on I shouldn't be able to decide that I didn't want to pay my bill and say that the cable was intended as part-payment.
From: jennifoot
Date: October 2nd, 2002 - 12:46 pm (Link)
Let's "not" talk about things....

And... Even when conferences are held elswhere, people are still going to try to find a way to make the U.S. pay. In the article below, One group said that if the conference held in Johannesburg was "wrecked" because of what happened September 11th, the U.S. should be billed for that entire summit even though South Africa would be profiting from the downstream effects of holding it at that location:
------ (http://www.globalpolicy.org/finance/unitedstates/2002/0828summit.htm)
According to the U.N's Department of Public Information, most U.N. conferences cost only about 1.8 million to 3.4 million dollars each. The only exception was Rio.Crispin Olver,
director-general of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, says the original WSSD budget was finalized at about 550 million rands (about 46.3 million U.S. dollars).
But since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, a higher allocation for security wasfactored into the overall budget. "We want to make sure that our security
planning is absolutely water-tight," Olver said. At a U.N. press conference in February, Olver said that nearly 200 million rands were contributed by the South African government.
The rest came mostly from donor nations and corporations.

"If the U.S. wrecks the Johannesburg summit," Daniel Mittler of Friends of the Earth International told Terra Viva, "then they should be sent the bill that the U.N. and the South
African government will have to pay for holding the summit."

I am no politician, and I certainly don't have all the facts, but who would take over all the duties that the U.S. has taken on? What would happen if we did stop providing the services we currently provide and just "pay cash"? Is your country going to provide the manpower and services for free to make up for it? Maybe more research is needed here before anyone jumps to conclusions and requests a quick fix.... :)
From: wechsler
Date: October 2nd, 2002 - 01:35 pm (Link)
So, those of us in piddling little countries should just shut up and be grateful for what the US *does* deign to pay?
No, I don't buy that, and I'm surprised that you seem to be saying it.

The US knew, when it accepted both the responsibility and prestige of hosting the UN, that there would be both subscription fees and indirect costs. It accepted these and agreed to pay them. To now try and re-write the contract is at the very least dishonest, and can be taken as an attempt to undermine one of very few international bodies that has the power to censure it. The disigenuous isolationist comments of (Senator? Congressman?) Bartlett only serve to support that assumption. The US has long been more keen on flexing its military muscle than putting its money where its mouth is, and if it wants to play global policeman, it should stop trying to put itself outside the law.

I don't know precisely what Mittler was referring to there, but FoE using the term "wrecking" suggests to me that they're talking about the US attempts to block any legally binding agreements on environmental or social protection. Not that most of Europe's governments are angels either. This isn't a Europe-vs-America thing, this isn't an "America-hating" thing. Frankly, I trust our own government only slightly more than I trust the Bush administration.

This *was* just a simple question, not a leap to a conclusion or an assumption of a quick fix. I prefer not to discuss politics in my LJ as the issues, and my thoughts thereon, are generally far too complex to be tackled in so ephemeral a space. But I can occasionally find the time to put forward some comments.
From: jennifoot
Date: October 2nd, 2002 - 02:32 pm (Link)
That is not at all what I was saying.
Since this is not the place to discuss such things, that is all I'll write here.
From: kaet
Date: October 2nd, 2002 - 02:08 pm (Link)

What would happen if we did stop providing the services we currently provide and just "pay cash"? Is your country going to provide the manpower and services for free to make up for it?

I imagine so. The EU, at least, could easily provide the personnel and equipment for current UN operations. All current UN peacekeeping operations amount to $3.5bn pa, I make that about 10% of my country's military expenditure. If we throw in two other similar countries that want to be in on the game, that's around 3% of military expenditure. There're variations like that depending on the colour of the party in power here. It's a much smaller proportion of the US's military spending but, contrary to what you might hear, that's largely (about two-thirds) due to the US's large standing army, according to NATO figures, which is next to useless in peacekeeping operations.

The US volunteered those peacekeeping troops which could easily have been provided by other nations, or perhaps occasionally there would have been no force, that would have been the UN's decision, let's face it, the US provided it in cases where it looked dodgy because it was in the US's interest. Now it suddenly decides that wasn't a gift but a part-payment.
It's just acting as a bully like a oligopoly supplier, because it can, and altering terms and conditions as it likes.
From: jennifoot
Date: October 2nd, 2002 - 02:38 pm (Link)
Peacekeeping is not provided for free by any country