The Gory Details of the UN reform bills
No word today from my Senators on their positions on UN reform.
Here are some of the gory details. This is from Section 601 of the House version of UN reform.
(1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (4) and in accordance with paragraph (2), until such time as all certifications (or alternate certifications) are submitted in accordance with subsection (a), the United States shall appropriate, but withhold from expenditure, 50 percent of the contributions of the United States to the regular assessed budget of the United Nations for a biennial period.I believe it is the Secretary of State doing the certifying. What types of things are being certified? Most are bureaucratic/personnel type matters. But a few are higher-level policy matters. Here is an example (from Section 201, paragraph (b)) related to the Human Rights Commission
(1) A Member State that fails to uphold the values embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights shall be ineligible for membership on any United Nations human rights body.(1) and (4) are kind of fuzzy. But (2) and (3) are objective criteria. If a country under sanction from the Security Council is allowed on the Human rights Commission, then UN funding is withheld.
(2) A Member State shall be ineligible for membership on any United Nations human rights body if such Member State is (A) subject to sanctions by the Security Council; or (B) under a Security Council-mandated investigation for human rights abuses.
(3) A Member State that is currently subject to an adopted country specific resolution, in the principal body in the United Nations for the promotion and protection of human rights, relating to human rights abuses perpetrated by the government of such country in such country, or has been the subject of such an adopted country specific resolution in such principal body within the previous 3 years, shall be ineligible for membership on any United Nations human rights body. For purposes of this subsection, an adopted country specific resolution shall not include consensus resolutions on advisory services.
(4) A Member State that violates the principles of a United Nations human rights body to which it aspires to join shall be ineligible for membership on such body.
The Senate version adds an extra layer of procedure. This is from Section 12 of the Senate bill
(a) In General- The President is authorized to withhold 50 percent of United States contributions to the United Nations in a year if the President has determined in the most recent report submitted under section 11 that the United Nations is not making sufficient progress to implement the reforms described in this Act.The Senate bill contains provisions about the Human Rights Committee similar to the House bill. The difference is, in the Senate bill, allowing a country under sanction from the security council does not trigger an automatic funding cut; it gives the President the right to withhold funds.
There are arguments for both approaches. Which option do you think is better? And which approach do Senator Reed and Senator Chafee think is better?