Reforming the United Nations: The Future of U.S. Policy, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session, April 7, 2011   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the opening statement of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: "This is the third session the committee has held this year on reforming the United Nations. In the past decade, the U.N.'s regular budget has more than doubled. But has the U.N.'s transparency, accountability, or effectiveness increased in proportion? Well, the former head of the U.N.'s own internal ethics office had this to say in her exit report, excerpts of which were leaked to the press: 'There is no transparency. There is [a] lack of accountability...I regret to say that the [U.N.] Secretariat now is in a process of decay...It is drifting into irrelevance.' The U.N. has never released the full report to the public. Former U.N. Deputy Secretary General March Malloch Brown said earlier this year, 'There is a huge redundancy and lack of efficiency in the U.N. system, and that the U.N. budget is utterly opaque, un-transparent, and completely in shadow.' Some take comfort in the U.N. General's call for a 3-percent cut in the next biennial budget. But 3 percent? That is like forgoing a cost of living increase. At our hearing last month, we considered lessons learned from past U.N. reform attempts to ensure that present and future efforts are based on what works. The most important lesson? Money talks. In fact, Ambassador Rice, you recognized this is a February 2005 op-ed published in the Washington Post, entitled 'Promoting Democracy: Money Talks.' Almost every productive U.S. effort at reforming the U.N. has been based on withholding our contributions unless and until needed reforms are implemented." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Susan Rice, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Gerald E. Connolly, Dan Burton, and Eliot L. Engel.

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Serial No. 112-35
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