By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, May 26 U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R from Huntsville) said in a statement that the House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted a Brooks amendment that would give more transparency in how much money the United States Government spends at the United Nations.
Congressman Brooks said, “Today the Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously adopted my amendment to the Department of State Authorities Act, which provides much needed transparency within the United Nations (UN). The measure ensures Congress is a good steward of taxpayer dollars, by requiring the Office of Management and Budget to report back the total contributions made by the United States to the UN. We must be strategic in our funding as Congress debates where to focus limited resources in a world of heightened unrest. I hope this legislation will move forward to the House floor.”
Congress previously required reporting; but that mandate was not extended past 2010. According to the Office of Management and Budget report of June 2011 “Annual Report on United States Contributions to the United Nations,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture spent $100,309,000 towards U.N. programs as did the Department of Commerce $8,017,000, the Department of Defense $2,168,000, the Department of Energy $4,500,000, the Department of Department of Health & Human Services $139,350,000, the Department of the Interior $395,000, the Department of Labor $49,125,000, the Department of State $5,420,372,000, the Department of Transportation $3,348,000, the Department of Treasury $30,000,000, the Environmental Protection Agency $10,575,000, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) $700,000, the National Science Foundation $474,000, the Peace Corps $100,000, the US Agency for International Development $1,921,572,000, the US Postal Service $307,000, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission $510,000. The Obama Administration reported spending a total of $7,691,822,000 with the United Nations in fiscal year 2010. U.S. spending at the United Nations had more than doubled since 2001 when the U.S. spent just $3,183,166,000 on the international organization.
According to the 2010 report the U.S. contributed: $5000 to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CEIT) or 22.60 percent (%) of their funding; $161,296,000 to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 25.1%; $185,460,000 US taxpayer dollars to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 25.38%; $22,782,000 to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 25%; $30,000,000 for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) 7.0%; $132,486,000 to the International Labour Organization (ILO) 22.55%; $9,361,000 to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 8.68%; $25,500,000 to the Montreal Protocol Fund 17%; $1,292,000 for the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands 29%; $650,693,000 for the UN – Regular Budget 22%; $255,184,000 for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 9%; $2,648,234,000 to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO) 27.3%; $22,315,000 5.5%; $84,523,000 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 14%; $22,957,000 for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 9.8%; $706,879,000 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 37%; $7,146,000 United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) 1.2%; $33,607,000 International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) 27.01%; $42,202,000 International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) 20.97%; $35,201,000 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 60.49%; $237,831,000 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) 26.5%; $2,373,000 Universal Postal Union (UPU) 5.97%; $1,545,660,000 World Food Programme (WFP) 36.3%; $386,706,000 World Health Organization (WHO) 23%; $1,097,000 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 10.75%; $15,092,000 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 21.20%. All Other US Contributions to various U,N. agencies amounted to $425,934,000.
Even though the reports to Congress ended back in 2010, it is estimated that the U.S. government still contributes well over 20 percent of total UN revenues without counting the private contributions of American Churches, charities, and individuals to UN relief agencies like UNICEF. Americans are only 4.4 percent of the world’s population.
Congressman Mo Brooks represents Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District.