Md. Congressman Says U.N. Owes Billions to United States

By Carter, Tom | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 4, 1997 | Go to article overview

Md. Congressman Says U.N. Owes Billions to United States


Carter, Tom, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Using figures supplied by the General Accounting Office to bolster his claims, Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett yesterday said the United Nations owes the United States some $3.4 billion - not the other way around.

He argued that no U.S. tax dollars should be given to the international body until there is a proper accounting.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand this. It is a phony debt," said Mr. Bartlett, Maryland Republican, yesterday at a press conference on Capitol Hill.

According to the United Nations, the United States owes the United Nations $1.3 billion in unpaid dues. A bipartisan compromise, which passed the Senate in June, would pay $819 million if the United Nations submits to congressionally mandated reform.

The House has yet to vote on U.N. reform, but there are two measures in the Commerce, Justice and State Department appropriations bill (H.R. 2267), expected to come before the House next week, that would fund a total of $100 million as a down payment on the U.N. debt. Mr. Roscoe, and 62 other members of the House, have sponsored an amendment to strike that payment.

"This $100 million is supposedly a down payment on $819 million in so-called U.S. arrears to the United Nations," he said. "There is no justification for Congress paying the United Nations even one dollar of American taxpayer money when the U.N. actually owes the United Nations billions of dollars."

The United States is obligated by international treaty and U.S. law to pay 25 percent of the United Nations' general operating costs and peacekeeping operations.

A March 1996 General Accounting Office report says the United States spent $6.6 billion on U.N. peacekeeping in Somalia, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and Haiti.

The report covered fiscal years 1992 through 1995.

Mr. Bartlett claims the United States should have been reimbursed for that amount. In fact almost $1.9 billion of the $6.6 billion has been credited to the United States as "dues," leaving $4.7 billion of the U.

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