116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
President Biden attended the NATO Summit with the message “America is back!”
Another opportunity for constructive U.S. global leadership is full funding of contributions to the U.N. system. The Biden-Harris administration is calling for the U.S. to fully pay its assessed contributions to the U.N.’s Regular budget and U.N. peacekeeping operations as well as voluntary contributions to the U.N. family of agencies.
The goal of fully funding American financial support for the U.N. is good for the world, our country and Iowa. Why?
First, financial support for the U.N. demonstrates U.S. leadership. The United States is a charter member of the world body, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, and home to U.N. Headquarters. The administration’s budget request for the UN builds on a long tradition of bipartisan support for the U.N. in Iowa and across the country.
Second, our contributions save the lives of people around the world. The U.N. provides food aid to 80 million people in 80 countries, assistance to the 80 million forcibly displaced people worldwide and vaccinations for 45% of the world’s children.
Third, financial support for the U.N. is a cost-effective way to address global issues. For example, the U.S. share of the cost of the U.N.’s 13 peacekeeping operations is a fraction of what it would cost for the U.S. to act alone.
Fourth, the U.N. is a good deal for Iowa taxpayers. U.S. contributions to the U.N. are approximately 0.2% of the federal budget, or less than $2 per taxpayer.
Fifth, Iowans support the U.N. A 2020 Morning Consult poll shows that 69% of Iowans believe it is important for the U.S. to be a member of the U.N. Fifty-six percent want their member of Congress to take action to continue U.S. funding for the U.N.
Financial support for the U.N. is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. I urge the Iowa congressional delegation to support payment of our country’s U.N. assessments and contributions in full and on time.
Jim Olson of Coralville is president of the Johnson County chapter of the United Nations Association.