Global Policy Forum

Costs Of UN Deployments Rise Sharply

UN Wire
June 20, 2000

The costs of peacekeeping operations are mounting, according to the latest UN statistics, the Toronto National Post reports.

     In the 12 months ending 30 June, the world body will have spent $1.5 billion on peacekeeping operations in 14 countries around the world. As the UN increases troop deployments to meet authorized levels in Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and East Timor, it will spend $2.2 billion more in the year ending next June.

     The number of UN peacekeeping troops is also rising, more than doubling since last summer. If authorized deployments are completed, peacekeepers worldwide will number more than 40,000.

     The United States, meanwhile, is in arrears for contributions to peacekeeping operations. Washington owes $338 million for this year's operations alone, and it owes almost $1 billion in contributions for previous years. The US arrears represented 67% of outstanding peacekeeping dues at the end of 1999. In the US Congress, Representative Harold Rogers and Senator Judd Gregg, both Republicans, are blocking payment of UN peacekeeping funds (Steven Edwards, Toronto National Post, 19 Jun).

     The Washington Times praises Gregg for his hold on peacekeeping funds, calling his action "commendable." According to the Times, some funds would have gone to the UN Interim Administration in East Timor, where the UN "organized a referendum for independence but then failed to protect it."

     Some money would be allocated to Kosovo, where rebels once supported by the UN "have turned to killing, illegal policing and torture." Another recipient mission, the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, operates in a country where rebels who signed a peace accord "have no intention of putting down their guns."

      Prior to Gregg's actions, the Times says, the Clinton administration's policy on UN peacekeeping "has been to throw money and troops at the conflict and try to clean the resulting chaos up later." By taking Gregg's stance into consideration, however, the United States "could avoid repeating peacekeeping follies" (Washington Times, 19 Jun).

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