Joel B. Pollak
December 25, 2012
Late yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly approved a 5% budget increase for 2012-2013–with half of the additional spending going towards the UN’s “political missions,” which typically handle peacemaking and conflict resolution. In a time of global austerity, the UN’s career diplomats have decided they deserve more cash.
The spending is particularly concerning given the fact that the UN is hardly known for running a tight financial ship. Last week, the Associated Press published an article headlined: “Santa Arrives Early at UN,” referring to the newly renovated office of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who also received a “new armored car wrapped in a red ribbon with a big bow.” A significant amount of UN spending is also wasted on controversial propaganda, such as a recent art display depicting the proto-state of Palestine as encompassing all of the State of Israel.
The United States is responsible for 22% of the UN’s regular budget, including the political missions. Some of these missions complement U.S. activities in Iraq and Afghanistan; others, such as the UN Special Coordinator Office for the Middle East Peace Process, do not.