Congressional Spending Package Fails to Fund Mali Peacekeeping, Undermining Fight against TerrorismMove is counter to popular support for peacekeeping, as evidenced by recent poll
January 14, 2014
The 2014 congressional spending package announced late Monday underfunds United Nations peacekeeping by 12 percent, allocating zero funds for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the Better World Campaign warned today. In a statement, executive director Peter Yeo said:
"One year ago this week, three Americans were killed by terrorists out of Mali. On the anniversary of their deaths, this bill misses the opportunity to stamp out further threats of terrorism or tragedy in this fragile nation.
"Earlier last year, the Administration asked for and championed the Mali mission in the Security Council, and both congressional Republicans and Democrats hailed the move; so it is dismaying that both Congress and the Administration have now signed off on a deal that does not pay our Mali bills.
"Some 6,400 peacekeepers in Mali—who are putting boots on the ground so that U.S. troops don't have to—won't get the full paychecks they're owed, or have all the resources they need to do the job we've asked them to do. In addition, not only will these troops not be fully resourced, every single UN mission—from South Sudan to Lebanon—is being underfunded, as Congress continues the practice of not paying the full amount for peacekeeping mission costs.
"The implications are far reaching for how we will approach other global threats this year. As crisis escalates in the Central African Republic, how can we, in good faith, urge the Security Council to weigh further action if the U.S. won't share the burden for these missions? What signal does that send to the countries providing troops, particularly in an era where peacekeeping has gotten more dangerous and deadly?
"We understand that key congressional appropriators faced very difficult funding numbers, and appreciate their efforts to put together an omnibus bill that does its best to promote American interests in other regards."
U.S. dues to UN peacekeeping in 2014 amount to $2.361 billion. The 2014 congressional omnibus announced this week allocates $1.959 billion plus the use of limited available 2013 credits.
Recent bipartisan polling shows that more than seven out of 10 voters support the United States paying our peacekeeping dues to the United Nations on time and in full. This include majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.