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“It’s the Law of the Land” – UN Agencies Recognizing the Palestinian Authority

By:
Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Aug 29, 2017  at  at 6:33 AM
Category
Climate Change

The United States Congress passed legislation in 1990 (Public Law 101-106) and 1994 (Public Law 103-236) prohibiting funding for United Nations “specialized agencies” and “affiliated organizations”. This legislation was signed into law by Presidents George H. W. Bush and William J. Clinton respectively.

The UN was aware of these laws when it extended participation in UNESCO (a UN “specialized agency”) to the Palestinian Authority in 2011. This UN action led to termination of US funding to UNESCO which represented ~22% of the UNESCO budget.

The UN was also aware of these laws when it extended membership in the UNFCCC (a UN “affiliated organization”) to the Palestinian Authority in 2016. This UN action, however, did not lead to termination of US funding to UNFCCC, as required by law. Rather, the Obama Administration requested $13 million in funding for the UNFCCC in 2017; and, provided $1 billion in funding for the UNFCCC’s Green Climate Fund, without specific congressional authorization and appropriation.

That was then. This is now. The “climate” regarding climate change has changed.

Now that the US has announced its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, which is a creature of the UNFCCC, there appears to be no compelling reason for the US Administration to avoid following US law and to not defund UNFCCC and the associated Green Climate Fund. Arguably, there is no compelling reason for continued US participation in UNFCCC, since its sole focus is implementing the Paris Agreement and the associated Green Climate Fund.

The UN appears to need to be reminded periodically that it is not a global government with sovereignty over the sovereign nations of the world. The UN also appears to need to be reminded periodically that its actions have consequences when they conflict with the laws in place in its member nations.

It is long past time to instill a sense of humility into the UN bureaucracy. Defunding “specialized agencies’ and “affiliated organizations” as required by US law is a necessary, though likely not a sufficient, first step in the process.