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• WHAT IS THE ADMINISTRATION POSITION?
When the President signed the FY 1979 Department of State appropriation bill, he expressed his strong opposition to the "unacceptable prohibitory language" which he said "compromises this government's ability to fulfill its legally binding financial obligations to the United Nations and it's specialized agencies."17 The President stated his intention "to recommend promptly to the Congress the restoration of funds for this appropriation and the elimination of the language which jeopardizes our ability to support these international organizations."
Secretary Vance has committed himself and the epartment of State to seek prompt enactment of the legislation requested in the President's FY 1980 budget to resolve this problem.
• WHAT IS U.S. POLICY TOWARD THE FUNDING OF UN SYSTEM TECHNICAL
A central and longstanding theme of U.S. policy has been to seek to strengthen the UNDP as the primary source of funding and overall coordination for technical assistance activities conducted by each of the relevant UN system agencies and programs. Through strengthening the capability of the UNDP to promote the necessary coherence, coordination, and effective management that we seek, we believe that the interests of individual countries and the world community will be enhanced.
In support of our major emphasis on the central role of the UNDP, the United States will continue to: (a) press in each UN agency to keep existing assessed funded technical assistance to a minimum consistent with overall U.S. policy objectives; (b) seek to avoid the introduction of new programs unless the need is extraordinary and can be fully justified; and (c) transfer, wherever appropriate, funding and policy responsibility for such programs to other agencies especially the UNDP
utilizing voluntary contributions.
1/ See complete text of Statement by the President in the Appendix, p. iii.
At the same time, American policy must take into account the fact that some of the UN agency organic statutes, accepted by the United States in joining the organizations, provide for the furnishing of some kinds of technical assistance out of assessed budgets. We do not accept, however, that it ever was intended for these agencies to be used by the majority as a means for making significant resource transfers, from the developed to the developing countries.
In dealing with this issue, also, we believe that universal funding and burden-sharing for UN system technical assistance are appropriate in those instances where benefits serve a common interest. Examples of this are WHO's programs for the control and eradication of diseases, and efforts by other UN agencies to advance global norms (e.g., developing internationally acceptable criteria for foodstuffs involved in international trade).
Finally, it is U.S. policy to support assessed funding. of technical assistance in individual UN agencies when important goals are better served this way than through the UNDP. For example, UNDP procedures often will not allow for meeting short-term emergency needs on a timely basis and the United States sometimes finds that the UNDP country programming system does not sufficiently accommodate priority needs identified by this country in particular program sectors (e.g., primary health care).
As we pursue this policy, every effort will be made to ensure that the UN agencies and other member governments clearly understand that the longstanding U.S. support for UN system programs could be seriously impaired if the repeated expressions of concern by us, the major UN contributor, are ignored.
WHAT LEGISLATIVE ACTION IS RECOMMENDED?
The Administration seeks remedial legislation to obtain and, despite the limitation on furnishing technical assistance, use the funds to permit the United States to pay its 1979 assessments in full.
The President's budget for FY 1980 includes, as part of an overall FY 1979 supplemental appropriation request, the following proposed legislation:
"For an additional amount for 'Contributions to inter-
With approval of the remedial legislation and the appropriation of the deleted funds, the United States will be able to meet its legally binding financial obligations to the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Such legislative action will provide the necessary basis for the Administration to pursue the policy regarding United Nations system technical assistance activities indicated in the previous section.
1/ See Appendix to the Budget of the U.S. Government for FY 1980, p. 1107. Along with seeking restoration of the $27.7 million deleted last year by the Congress in connection with the prohibitory language concerning technical assistance, the proposed supplemental appropriation seeks an additional $30.6 million to meet the anticipated shortfall in U.S. assessments to certain international organizations for FY 1979 caused by non-discretionary items.
Statement by the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination
The Administrative Committee on Co-ordination (ACC) notes with deep concern that some Member States attempt to attach conditions to their assessed contributions to the regular budgets of the organizations in the United Nations system and in some cases withhold part of such assessed contributions because of their objection to certain activities financed through the organizations' approved regular budget.
The contributions of Member States to the regular budgets, which are assessed by the Member States themselves in the governing bodies of the organizations in accordance with the latter's constitutional procedures, are financial obligations which are legally binding on the Members. They have been voted by the membership to provide the financial resources required to carry out programmes approved by the organizations' governing bodies in furtherance of the fundamental objectives of these organizations as laid down in their respective constitutions. The constitution of each organization refers to the budget as a. whole and makes no provision for earmarking within, or attaching conditions to, assessed contributions to the regular budget. The withholding of assessed contributions, or parts thereof, thus clearly violates the international legal obligations which every Member State contracted when it joined an organization in the United Nations system and formally accepted its charter or constitution.
For the same reasons the attachment of conditions to the payment of assessed contributions purporting to restrict their use by an organization cannot be recognized as valid under the Charter of the United Nations and the constitutions of the other organizations. Member States do not have the right to designate those parts of the regular budget or programme which are to be, or are not to be financed by their asssessed contributions, and the secretariats do not have the right to earmark assessed contributions in such a manner as to prevent their being used to finance any specific activity or programme. Hence, notwithstanding such intended restrictions any funds received in payment of assessed contributions must be used by the secretariats of the organizations solely and entirely for the purpose for which these contributions have been assessed, that is, to help finance the regular budget as a whole without distinction as to its component parts, programmes or activities.
The Secretary-General and his colleagues in ACC have felt it incumbent upon themselves to draw the attention of the Member States to this situation which, if allowed to persist, will inevitably weaken the legal foundations of the international organizations and jeopardize the very existence of international co-operation within the United Nations system. It also constitutes an immediate threat to the financial viability of the United Nations system. In the light of these serious repercussions, ACC trusts that the Member States concerned will effectively reconsider their ection at the earliest opportunity before their full impact is felt on the organizations in the United Nations system.