US threatens aid cut to UN over Palestine vote
1 Sep, 2011 22:29
A US congresswoman introduced a new bill that proposes to stop US funding of United Nations agencies that supports the Palestinian bid to become an independent state.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a new bill to Congress with 57 co-sponsors which proposes slashing America's financial contribution to any part of the UN that supports the vote on the recognition of Palestine on September 20.Ros-Lehtinen stressed that the timing was not a coincidence, and that she introduced this bill to stop Palestine from seeking membership at the UN.The proposed legislation calls for the US to change the way it is financing the UN.It also calls for Washington to choose UN programs that it wants to fund and contribute to.The US is currently the biggest funder of the UN – it funds 22 percent of the UN’s general budget.Ros-Lehtinen’s bill also proposes that all funding for UN agencies or programs that support Palestinian’s membership in the UN end immediately.Ros-Lehtinen’s bill, if passed, would also defund the UN Human Rights Committee until it repeals anti-Israel resolutions and prohibits countries that support terrorism from serving as its members. Ros-Lehtinen has also called for the US to pull out of the UN Human Rights Council until the reforms are put in action.Meanwhile, as RT’s Marina Portnaya reports, experts believe that this bill puts the US in a very weak position. It takes away its credibility at the UN, they say, because it clearly extends far beyond diplomacy.The General Assembly is due to hold a controversial vote later this month on recognition.