Several United Nations agencies that are among the biggest recipients of U.S. taxpayer dollars have given leadership positions to U.S.-designated state sponsors of terrorism and countries with poor records on human rights and religious freedoms. That funding could be in jeopardy if a draft presidential executive order becomes a reality.
The draft order would create an accountability committee to recommend where U.S. funding to bodies across the global U.N. system could be reduced or reallocated, in line with U.S. policy interests.
“The purpose of the accompanying executive order is to ensure better alignment between United States national interests and U.S. monetary support to the United Nations and other international organizations,” it states.
Among specific targets identified in the draft order, which was first reported on by the New York Times last month, are any U.N. agencies that are deemed to be “controlled or substantially influenced by” state-sponsors of terrorism or systematic human rights abusers.
A recent State Department report to Congress shows that the U.S. in fiscal year 2016 contributed $10.48 billion to international organizations.
Some $1.3 billion of that went to non-U.N. international bodies such as NATO and the African Union, and $659,487,647 went to the regular U.N. operating budget in FY 2016.
Of the U.N. agencies that benefitted from the remaining more than $8 billion, some of the bigger recipients included:
--U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – $1,508,067,996
--World Food Program (WFP) – $1,393,973,328
--U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – $514,219,804
--World Health Organization (WHO) – $341,275,815
--Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – $161,417,915
The U.S. is by far the largest single contributor to these agencies, accounting for 22 percent or more of their annual budgets.