Rep. Cliff Stearns

U.S. House of Representatives

Making U.N. Dues Assessments More Fair

June 13, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the assessment of member dues at the United Nations has always been something of a joke. Japan pays 19.5 percent of the U.N. budget and does not even get a chance to sit on the Security Council. By contrast, Security Council members Russia and China contribute only 1 percent and 2 percent respectively to the U.N.'s multibillion dollar budget. We pay over 22 percent.

   Currently, the U.N. bases assessments on gross national income figures, the proper measure of which cannot be taken when currencies are not convertible. The United States recently proposed that assessments be calculated the World Bank way, using data on purchasing power parity, to better reflect what states can afford. This would raise Russia's share of the budget to about 2.5 percent, China's to 13.7 percent, leaving America's mostly unchanged.

   Should they not want this recognition, under the new accounting method, China's share of world gross domestic product rises to second place from seventh, just as Russia's rises to 10th place from 16th?

See the original in the Congressional Record on Page H3802

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