A Diplomatic Strategy for U.S. Financial Leadership in Revitalizing UN Capabilities for Peace
The United States benefits from a strong United Nations that can deliver results. Steady and predictable financial resources from its member states are essential to the UN playing that role. Today, those resources are threatened by the deteriorating global economic climate resulting from COVID-19, and delayed and withheld payments from member states—especially the United States, which owes more than $1 billion. That funding gap is undermining UN operations and effectiveness at a time of great strategic challenges and uncertainty.
The U.S. now has an historic leadership opportunity in 2021 to bolster missions, support reforms, realign the national financial strategy and demonstrate a way forward. Both Congress and other UN member states want to find a solution to this funding crisis and are eager to offer support. Congress has pressed the Administration to fund missions and to negotiate a lower rate for peacekeeping, for example; other governments want to see a UN able to deliver results and no longer hobbled by deficits.
As the U.S. prepares for negotiations over funding rates for UN peace operations in late 2021, what could it do to address the $1 billion in arrears to the United Nations, restructure the UN formula and win over other nations to reduce the U.S. peacekeeping rate? Stimson will develop a diplomatic strategy for achieving these goals. This project will consider the current financial situation facing UN peacekeeping, interview U.S. and international policymakers, review past efforts, and identify the steps needed to develop a strategy in advance of the 2021 negotiations. The project will aim to generate discussion in advance of those negotiations and lay out a U.S. diplomatic strategy, and demonstrate why success is useful and necessary to our national interests.