Probably the last country on Earth one would expect to see cut U.N. funding. Now it’s our turn.
(Fox News) — Critics of U.S. spending on the United Nations got a huge boost — and supporters of that spending, especially the Obama Administration, took a body blow — from an unlikely source this week: the British government, long one of the U.N.’s staunchest supporters.
In a sweeping and hard-nosed reorganization of priorities for its $10.6 billion multilateral foreign aid program, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government of Prime Minister David Cameron has pulled the financial plug entirely on four U.N. agencies at the end of next year, put three others judged merely “adequate” on notice that they could face the same fate unless they improve their performance “as a matter of absolute urgency;” and issued pointed criticisms of almost all the rest.
The major exception: UNICEF, the U.N. children’s aid agency, which got a strong endorsement and a funding increase.
The tough actions were revealed as the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee chairperson Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, has been gearing up an extended critical look at U.N. funding as part of its overall budget austerity plan. The British revelations also came while U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice was on an extended cross-country tour, drumming up grass-roots support for U.N. funding in what is sure to be a protracted battle. Unveiling of the new British priorities undoubtedly will hearten her opponents on Capitol Hill.