Statement by Timothy E. Wirth, President of the Better World Fund on the Senate Appropriations Committee Actions to Increase Funding for UN Peacekeeping
Washington, DC — June 28, 2007
Commenting on today’s action by the Senate Appropriations Committee on the FY 2008 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, United Nations Foundation President and former U.S. Senator Timothy E. Wirth issued the following statement:
“The U.S. Senate has done a great service for the American taxpayer and international peace and security by taking steps to substantially increase U.S. support for United Nations peacekeeping operations around the world.
“Today’s actions, including a $245 million increase over the President’s budget for the U.S. Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities account, will help close the gap between the needs of the peacekeeping missions that the United States is voting for in New York, and the funding provided by the U.S. government in Washington.
“Shoring up this support for UN peacekeeping in the Senate mirrors similar actions taken in the House of Representatives, which approved last week a $195 million increase for peacekeeping and lifted the legislative ‘cap’ on U.S. contributions.
“These efforts demonstrate widespread recognition of the opportunity and bargain that UN peacekeeping represents for advancing U.S. national security interests. Working together with the international community is a wise and effective way of ensuring that the United States does not have to take all the risks or pay all the bills associated with international peace and security.
“We are grateful for the extensive public support demonstrated for UN peacekeeping through the Price of Peace Campaign conducted by Better World Campaign, an initiative of the Better World Fund. In total, more than 36,000 Americans from across the nation have signed a petition to Members of Congress at www.PriceOfPeace.org calling for the United States to honor its commitments to UN peacekeeping on time and in full.
“Recognizing the essential role of the United Nations in promoting peace, stability, democracy, and prosperity around the world, I hope the Congress will continue this momentum in strengthening the U.S.-UN relationship, restoring U.S. leadership at the United Nations, and providing leverage for continued reform at the United Nations.”