of the U.S." may be psychologically satisfying for some, but it is a prescription for
Americans must recognize that the United States will never again hold as great a
percentage of the world's economic and military might as it did at the end of World
War II. Hence, in a very practical sense our national security demands that greater
emphasis and sensitivity be applied to relations between states and to major inter-
national institutions such as the United Nations. Responsible governments have an
obligation to seek to strengthen rather than deprecate the U.S. and its sister organi-
At the insistence of Woodrow Wilson, the League of Nations was created in the
aftermath of World War I. Yet, with Wilson's illness and death, narrow isolationism
took hold in the United States and we refused to join the League, thus contributing
to the unstable peace from which the second world war developed.
By a narrow 25-to-23 vote the decision was made in 1945 to locate the U.N. in
America rather than Europe, partly out of respect to the greatest democracy in the
world, partly out of fear that the United States would turn inward and again deny
its global responsibilities. Now, as the Cold War tensions have reemerged, it is par-
ticularly timely for the United States to make clear to the world that we are proud
the U.N. is in the U.S. and the U.S. is in the U.N. The United Nations may not
have lived up to original expectations, but it is still a beacon of hope for mankind.
Mr. Yatron. Thank you, Mr. Leach.
Now, at this time I would like to call on the gentleman from
California, Mr. Lantos.
Mr. Lantos. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I did not intend to make an opening statement, but in view of my
colleague's opening statement, I am constrained to do so.
If you people have represented the United States in international
fora with the integrity, intelligence, effectiveness, and eloquence of
Ambassador Kirkpatrick, and I believe that my good friend from
Iowa has overreacted in a manner which is uncharacteristic of him,
and if I may be as bold as to suggest, inexcusable.
To use the term John Birch Society in welcoming our Ambassa-
dor to the United Nations to the hearing of this subcommittee, I
think is unacceptable.
Ambassador Kirkpatrick, with whom I have had some agree-
ments and some disagreements on a variety of issues, has been ex-
emplary in her commitment to open and free societies and in her
unflinching struggle for democratic nations within the U.N. struc-
I believe we will have plenty of opportunity this afternoon to ex-
plore the recent hub-bub concerning the United Nations, but I
think it would be wholly unrealistic for this subcommittee not to
recognize that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction abroad and in
the land concerning many of the activities of the United Nations,
many of the statements of U.N. representatives from many coun-
tries, and while the American people are fundamentally in support
of the United Nations, and in support of the United Nations con-
tinuing its presence in the United States, I, for one, believe that
while from a pragmatic point of view this will not come about, it
will be enormously salutory for the vast majority of the representa-
tives in most States to spend half the time in the Soviet Union be-
cause they would then, on a firsthand basis, obtain a realistic op-
portunity to engage in comparative judgments concerning Soviet
society and American society.
That will not come about. It will not come about because the
overwhelming majority of the delegates would vigorously oppose
moving the United Nations out of the United States because they
like it in New York, and much as they complain, they would hate
to have the U.N. headquarters anyplace else.
But I do believe that both the President and Ambassador Lich-
tenstein spoke for the vast majority of the American people in ex-
pressing a profound sense of frustration with many of the state-
ments and activities emanating from the glass edifice on the East
I personally believe that we should remain in the United Na-
tions. I personally believe we should contribute our fair share to
the U.N. activities. And, by fair share I mean the same proportion
of U.N. funding that our gross national product warrants, not more
and not less.
I personally believe that the United Nations will continue to be
headquartered in New York, but I think it does none of us any
good to attack the distinguished representative of the United
States in that international body. Ambassador Kirkpatrick has
done a remarkable job of representing this Nation as our Ambassa-
dor to the United Nations, and I personally look forward to listen-
ing to her testimony.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Yatron. Thank you, Mr. Lantos.
Now, I would like to call on the gentleman from New York, Mr.
Solomon, for an opening statement.
Mr. Solomon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I had not intended to
make an opening statement, but I am moved to do so in light of
some of the, what I consider, rather scurrilous remarks by one of
my colleagues, whether intentional or unintentional.
Let me just say at the outset that I do nothing but heap praise
on you, Madame Ambassador. You are not only eloquent, but you
are most effective and we in the United States appreciate that.
As far as President Reagan and his foreign policy are concerned,
I can recall back when I was in Congress and we had other Presi-
dents, not just Democrats, but Republicans as well, and our foreign
policy was the laughingstock around the world.
Well, our foreign policy today is not a laughingstock, thanks to
Ronald Reagan and his administration.
My colleagues refer to some remarks made by Mayor Koch about
a cesspool, and you know, sometimes we have to judge remarks
people make and the organization they belong to by what they say.
And if it sounds like a cesspool, you call it a cesspool.
As far as our contribution to the United Nations is concerned,
relative to GNP, one member has said that it is a very small per-
centage compared to other countries. I come from the old school
myself. I am 100 percent Scottish and I have worked for every
nickel I ever had in my life. I am proud of what I have, and I don't
believe in sharing the wealth with anybody.
I don't believe in having whatever little money I have taken
away from me so my family can't have it. That is what America
was all about. If we are going to do anything, and this is the hall-
mark of the Reagan foreign policy, it is to teach people to help
themselves. That is exactly what President Reagan's foreign policy
I intend to offer an amendment, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, at the appro-
priate time, to whatever legislation comes on the floor of the
House, which would require you â€” not that you wouldn't want to do
it anyway â€” to record the voting records and the statements that
are made in the General Assembly and the Security Council and
all the other U.N. agencies to let the Congress know what other
countries are saying about us.
I don't say that we will use that to determine our bilateral aid or
multilateral contributions, but you can bet that these other coun-
tries will continue to hold their hands out. For example, Mr.
Mugabe from Zimbabwe, who abstained on a vote on the KAL air-
liner tragedy and then comes to Washington the next week with
his hand out.
I, for one, and many others like me, intend to take those things
into consideration. That amendment will pass both Houses, will
become law and will require the U.S. Ambassador to the United
Nations to give us those records which we will forward to every
office that we have in every country. We will take those things into
I guess I had better stop. I have some questions of you, but I will
ask them at the appropriate time.
Mr. Yatron. I thank the gentleman from New York.
Ambassador Kirkpatrick, please proceed with your opening state-
STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR JEANE J. KIRKPATRICK, U.S.
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
Ambassador Kirkpatrick. Thank you very much.
I would like to say, as always, I am honored and pleased to
appear before this subcommittee of Congress.
I believe very deeply in the important role of Congress in the for-
mulation and the oversight of U.S. foreign policy.
I should like to make clear at the outset that I respect the insti-
tution in which I represent the United States, and have the highest
regard for the integrity and skill of Secretary General Javier Perez
de Cuellar and his principal lieutenants, and that I believe that ef-
fective U.S. participation in the United Nations is an important
aspect of our foreign policy.
I also fully share the Congress concern with the spiraling growth
of the U.N. budget and bureaucracy, and the frustration and con-
viction expressed in the Senate's overwhelming vote, that the
United States should not simply acquiesce in this seemingly uncon-
The U.N. budget has nearly tripled in the last decade, during
which inflation in the United States amounted to about 115 per-
cent. And even in this statist age it is difficult to find a govern-
ment whose bureaucracy has grown at rates that equal that of this
U.N. bureaucracy during the last decade.
We in the Reagan administration have tried hard to slow this
rampant growth. I believe that our predecessors also worked hard
to control the growth of the U.N. budget.
I believe that Secretary General de Cuellar is working hard on
He has, in fact, undertaken a major economy campaign which
may bear fruit this year, but none of our efforts could have reason-
ably been called successful as of the end of the fiscal year 1983.
The budget continued to grow, and at a very unacceptable rate.
Now, various factors I believe are involved in that growth of the
U.N. budget. One certainly is worldwide inflation; another, and a
very important one to take into account, is the increasing peace-
keeping operation of the United Nations. About one-third of the
U.S. assessment is spent for peacekeeping. Each of these have
played their role, but fundamentally the problems of U.N. budget
growth are structural. They derive from the fact that the budget is
finally determined by a majority of members that can add on and
on and on without themselves incurring the brunt of the additional
Specifically 85 member states of the 157 total membership in the
last fiscal year â€” we now have 158 with the addition of St. Christo-
pher-Nevis, but 85 of that 157 pay a total of only 1.75 percent of
the budget, while the United States, which pays 25 percent, has
only Vi57th of the decisionmaking power, or we can say the Soviet
Union, which pays 14 percent, has Vi5 7th of the decisionmaking
Responsibility for financing the United Nations is thus, in effect,
vested in a very small minority of its richest and most powerful
members, while authority to control the budget lies with the voting
From this distribution, this disjunction of power and responsibili-
ty flows the fact that those countries who have the votes don't pay
the bills, while those who pay the bills don't have the votes.
Last year's experiences seem to be a case study that illustrates
the problem and its tenacity.
We need to be aware, first, that the process of budgetmaking fea-
tures input from the various sections of the U.N. Secretariat,
which the Secretary General requests some 18 months in advance
of his own recommendations. He gets input from the General As-
sembly in the form of resolutions which mandate new activities,
review by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budget-
ary Questions, review by the Committee for Programs and Coordi-
nation, review by the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly,
and then by the Plenary.
At the very beginning of this administration's term, in April
1981, we secured the agreement of the so-called Geneva Group,
that is, Western-oriented donors contributing 10 percent or more to
the budgets of the specialized agencies, that for the first half of the
1980's, real budgetary growth should be zero, with the understand-
ing that some of the cost increases due to inflation and exchange
rate losses would have to be absorbed.
We collaborated as well with the U.S.S.R. which shares our con-
cern with controlling costs. Demarches were made to the heads of
the major U.N. agencies, stressing that priorities must be estab-
lished and that marginal or obsolete programs must be terminated.
At the 37th General Assembly, we confronted headon the prob-
lem of add-ons. We, the United States, demanded a vote wherever
and whenever a financial resolution had financial implications and
voted against all resolutions and decisions which increased the
U.N. budget without offsetting economies, unless there was some
compelling political, humanitarian, or fiscal reason to the contrary.
There is not much doubt our campaign encouraged more atten-
tion to priorities and gave added urgency to the determination of
Secretary General Perez de Cuellar to control too rapid budget
In sending out his guidelines for the 1984-85 biennium, the Sec-
retary General stressed that maximum fiscal restraint was re-
quired of all elements.
All submissions of the several U.N. departments and agencies
are now examined by a Program Planning and Budgeting Board, of
which Perez himself is the Chairman.
The new Board also monitors and evaluates the functioning of
the Secretariat itself.
I may say that I regard this move by the Secretary General as a
very important and promising one.
In addition, in August Secretary General Perez de Cuellar com-
missioned a separate study of the Secretariat, its management sys-
tems and techniques, and such questions as staffing pattern, simpli-
fication of procedures, delegation of authority, and so forth.
The report is due early in 1984.
The Secretary General and his principal associates has written to
assure me he will undertake special measures and studies to
streamline, modernize, and reduce costs in areas of U.N. function-
ing, such as travel, telecommunications, and the preparation and
production of documents.
He is determined, he assures me, to bring under control the por-
tions of the budget susceptible to his control.
I have included in an appendix a memorandum which the Secre-
tariat provided to me on measures which they have taken, since
the tenure of the new Secretary General began in January 1982, to
enhance the efficiency of the United Nations.
In the last fiscal year, neither our efforts nor those of all those
with whom we work, including the United Kingdom and the Soviet
Union, Japan, West Germany, and Israel and the Solomon Islands,
and so forth, none of us voted for the budget.
The final vote was 120 for the budget, 15 opposed, and 6 absten-
Taken together, the 120 nations who voted for the budget prob-
ably contribute no more than 15 to 20 percent, or less than that, of
the total assessed budget.
There is no escaping the fact that our efforts have not been suc-
Nor is there any escaping the fact that salaries and fringe bene-
fits of U.N. employees are high compared to those of United States
and other governments and continue to rise; that conferences pro-
liferate, and costs continue to increase.
We cannot guarantee either that the efforts of the Secretariat or
of the United States and the other nations that share our concern
will achieve the desired results because effective control over the
budget is vested in and exercised by a solid majority whose mem-
bers, 88 countries, pay less than 2 percent of the budget.
The result last year is typical. Not 1 of the top 10 contributing
countries â€” whose combined contributions pay some 75 percent of
the U.N. expenses â€” voted for the budget.
Either they voted against or they abstained. Obviously they were
Fourteen of the top 15 contributors whose combined contribu-
tions comprise some 85 percent of the budget either voted against
What can the U.S. Congress do in this situation to control the
costs to us, and to insure that international organizations which we
help finance, operate on a basis of responsible budgetary restraint?
I believe this question is important and urgent. The initiative of
Senator Kassebaum and her colleagues offers one approach to this
In discussing the question and possible approaches to it, I desire
to make three points:
First the U.S. Government has total control over its voluntary
contributions to the U.N. specialized agencies. Those voluntary con-
tributions exceed the assessed contributions.
Second, although this is a controversial subject, I desire to make
clear that I do not believe the U.S. treaty obligation to contribute
25 percent of the assessed budget is absolute.
It is sometimes argued that as signatories to the treaty, we
assume an absolute legal obligation to pay the assessed share of the
budget, it seems to me, after consultation and reflection, that this
obligation is real, substantial, and serious, but also that it is not
It exists as part of a web of obligations, some of which are vested
in other members, and some in the organization. It is integrally
linked to understandings about the functions of this organization
and the purposes to which the contributions will be devoted.
Moreover, 30 countries withhold, as a matter of announced
policy, portions of their assessed budgets and incur no penalties.
I have included an appendix which states the estimated cumula-
tive withholding by U.N. member states as a matter of announced
I do not suggest the United States should take lightly the obliga-
tion to pay its assessed share of the budget. This is a serious, but
not, in my opinion, an absolute obligation. To be sure, article 17 of
the U.N. Charter requires member states to pay their share of the
U.N. budget as assessed by the General Assembly. We should not
assume, however, that any expense apportioned by the General As-
sembly is automatically valid.
To create collective obligations to pay, the expense must be le-
As you know, Congress has for a number of years required that
the United States withhold the pro rata share of its assessed and
voluntary contributions which go either to the two U.N. commit-
tees on Palestinian rights or which go to support U.N. activities on
behalf of the PLO, Cuba, or SWAPO.
In each of these instances, we have deemed the activities of these
entities to be in contravention of the basic principles and purposes
of the U.N. Charter and, accordingly, have withheld payment.
For related reasons, President Reagan announced last year that
the United States would withhold from its assessed U.N. contribu-
tion our share of the expenses associated with implementation of
the Law of the Sea Treaty, which we determined to not properly be
subject to assessment.
As I have already said, 30 countries already withhold parts of
their U.N. assessments for activities they deem improper. The larg-
est withholding by far has occurred by the Soviet bloc states which
have withheld more than $260 million.
Almost all of this withholding has been from U.N. peacekeeping
operations. This withholding has been determined by the Interna-
tional Court of Justice, in the Certain Expenses case of 1962, to be
in clear contravention of the U.N. Charter since peacekeeping oper-
ations are an essential and thus permissible U.N. activity tied to
the U.N. primary purpose of maintaining international peace and
This is in marked contrast to the withholding patterns of other
states, including the U.S., where the legitimacy of the activity not
supported is open to serious question and where no adverse ICJ
In this context, U.S. withholding in protest would not constitute
a deviation from our traditional support for the principles of collec-
tive financial responsibility for legitimate U.N. expenses. Nor does
such limited selective withholding damage the fiscal order of the
U.N. by encouraging other nations to engage in selective withhold-
ing. They already are doing that and began long before the U.S.,
pursuant to congressional directives, started to engage in this prac-
Because withholding for legitimate U.N. expenses had by 1965
become a way of life for the Soviet bloc, the U.S. at that time an-
nounced, with the full knowledge and acquiescence of Congress,
what has come to be known as the Goldberg Reservation.
That declaration reserves for the U.S. the right to follow the
practices of others in selective withholding.
As stated by Ambassador Goldberg in 1965:
* * * if any member can insist on making an exception to the principle of collec-
tive financial responsibility with respect to certain activities of the organization, the
U.S. reserves the same option to make exceptions to the principles of collective fi-
nancial responsibility if, in our view, strong and compelling reasons exist for doing
so. There can be no double standard among the members of the organization.
Justice Goldberg, in response to a recent inquiry from me â€” at
the time, the Law of the Sea Preparatory Conference was under
consideration â€” wrote that it was his considered conclusion that:
* * * there can be no question that under the Goldberg Reservation the U.S. re-
serves the right to withhold assessments for U.N. activities which, in our opinion, do
not serve our national purpose.
I may say that is a Goldberg corollary, not a Kirkpatrick corol-
The third point I would like to make, I would encourage the Con-
gress, in its desire to exercise greater control over U.S. contribu-
tions and expenditures, to distinguish between U.N. operations and
programs which U.S. taxpayers support and those they do not.
We should set priorities and make choices in ways that favor pro-
grams which are consistent with our values, and that favor agen-
cies which pursue the purposes for which they were established.
We should penalize those which, because of politicization and/or
inefficiency, have strayed from their legitimate purposes and tasks.
We might, for example, reasonably decide to register firmly
through fiscal means, our profound disapproval of UNESCO, which
has succumbed to politicization, which creates obstacles to a free
press instead of promoting free exchange of information, discrimi-
nates against one of its members, Israel, and which is utterly indif-
ferent to principles of fiscal restraint and good management.
It seems to me to be undesirable to impose identical cuts on the
Secretariat as a whole when the Secretary General has undertaken
a major effort to bring expenses under control and to enhance effi-
ciency, or on the World Health Organization which practices sound
management and whose ongoing contributions to eradicating dis-
ease are well known.
In thinking about cuts, we should also distinguish between dis-
cretionary items in the assessed budget, such as the number of em-
ployees and their salary levels, and nondiscretionary items such as
While we might want to reduce, perhaps even drastically reduce
or eliminate entirely our contributions to one agency, we might
well want to expand the other.
Congress oversight responsibilities vis-a-vis U.S. funding of the
U.N. requires constant vigilance of all U.N. activities, whether
funded through our assessed or voluntary contributions, to deter-
mine their compatibility with the fundamental objectives and prin-
ciples of the U.N. Charter.
Let me say that this administration's commitment to working
inside the U.N. to achieve those fundamental objectives and princi-
ples of the U.N. Charter has been repeatedly reaffirmed.
However, since our voluntary contributions exceed our assessed
contributions and as there are no binding restraints regarding such
contributions, I recommend that if Congress is concerned principal-
ly about economy, it makes sense to start there, and afterward to
move agency by agency through the assessed contributions.
In this regard I would like to respectfully suggest to this commit-
tee, as I have done in the past in testimony before other congres-
sional committees, that the U.S. consider adopting the practice of
many other large voluntary contributors of earmarking our funds
to specific agencies and for specific projects.
Thus we would reward the specialized agencies which do work of
which we approve and discontinue or reduce our funding of agen-