Financing the United Nations
The question of financing the United Nations has become a lively issue almost overnight, for two important reasons:
- To avoid bankruptcy, the United Nations General Assembly passed a $200,000,000 bond issue, and President Kennedy has asked the US Congress to buy one half of these bonds.
- One reason for the UN's financial crisis is the UN peace-keeping operation in the Congo, an operation about which there is widely varying opinion.
The following questions and answers havew been forwarded from our national league office to help create a better understanding of the present crisis. Do save this page for your own future reference.
Q. Is a bond issue a wise method of financing the UN?
A. Mr. Eugene R. Black, President of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development has stated that he thought the idea a sound one.
Q. Why should the US purchase the bonds?
A. By having the bond issue repaid out of future regular UN budgets, the US contribution for peacekeeping operations would be reduced from its present share of 4½% to 32%. The cost of the UN bond issue purchase by the US would represent 1/10 of 1% of the federal budget.
Q. Would the UN be likely to default on bonds?
A. The General Assembly made retirement of the bonds an obligatory charge against the UN regular budget. Member states which fail to pay their assessments to the budget lose their right to vote in the General Assembly when two years behind in dues.
The three questions commonly asked about the UN Operation in the Congo and US participation in that operation are:
Q. What are the views of teh African nations on the UN operation in the Congo?
A. Most African nations favor the UN operation in the Congo. Their fear is that if the UN does not succeed in helping to establish an integrated, independent Congo, the pattern will be set for fractionalization of African nations including such nations as Chad and Nigeria, and all hopes of African nationhood will go up in flames of tribal wars. Thus their plea is for strong UN action.
Q. Does the UN operation deny self-determination for Katanga?
A. The issue in Katanga is not self-determination. Rather it is the threat of armed secession by a tribal area, representing less than one-twelfth of the Congo with about one-twentieth of its population, that happens to contain a disproportionate part of the mineral wealth that is the Congo's greatest natural resource. Congolese leaders have not advocated that the country be split into sovereign states (Katanga itself would split in two if the concept of tribal separatism were given full play.) A case can be made, however, for injecting an element of decentralization and most Congolese leaders appear to believe that there should be enough local autonoly on local matters to discourage secession.
Q. Since Mr. Tshombe's anti-communist views are known, is IS support of the UN operation contrary to our national interest?
A. Mr. Tshombe is indeed anti-communist, but so is Prime Minister Adoula. It is in our national interest to support UN efforts to help Prime Minister Adoulka integrate such leaders as Mr. Tshombe into a united Congo so that a united, strengthened Congo will be fully able to defeat subversion from wothin or attempts at outside domination.
We hope this information will help all leaguers to keep up to date on this controversial issue, and that our speaker for the Annual Meeting, Dr. Robert B. Stauffer will find us informed.