United Nations: Status of U.S. Contributions and Arrears Page: 4 of 33
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payments during 1999 consist of $3 million from fiscal year 1998 funds,
$301 million from fiscal year 1999 funds, and $204 million from fiscal year
2000 funds.2 The Department of State has requested congressional
authorization to reprogram $66 million of fiscal year 1999 funds to pay
expected additional assessments for the U.N. peacekeeping operations in
Kosovo and East Timor recently authorized by the U.N. Security Council.
Payment of this amount would reduce our estimate of the needed
additional U.S. payment to $87 million. Changes in these assumptions or
U.N. financial needs during the remainder of 1999, particularly changes in
the amount of peacekeeping assessments that the United States pays,
would affect our estimate.
The United States faces the loss of its vote in the General Assembly in
January 2000 because the sum of its assessed contributions for the prior
2 years-the "yardstick" for measuring U.S. arrears when applying article
19-has declined each year since 1996. This decline largely reflects a
decrease in assessments for U.N. peacekeeping operations since 1995. In
essence, the United States now faces the loss of its right to vote in the
General Assembly because its assessed contributions are substantially less
than in 1996 while its arrears have remained about the same. This explains
why, with basically the same level of arrears as in past years, the United
States narrowly avoided losing its right to vote on January 1, 1999, and will
lose its right to vote on January 1, 2000, unless it reduces its arrears.
Figure 1 shows the decline in U.S. assessed contributions for the prior 2
years relative to U.S. arrears on January 1, 1996-2000.
GAO/NSIAD-99-187 United Nations
2The anticipated payment from fiscal year 2000 funds assumes that Congress will appropriate the
$304 millio n requested for payment of the U.N. regular budget for 1999, subject to a $100 million
withholding pending executive branch certification that the U.N.'s biennium regular budget remains
below $2.533 billion. The United States has paid its calendar year assessments with funds appropriated
for the following fiscal year since 1983.
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United States. General Accounting Office. United Nations: Status of U.S. Contributions and Arrears, report, July 28, 1999; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293003/m1/4/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.