Friday, December 30, 2011

Republican House Members withhold funding to important UN programs

In a straight party-line vote of 23-15, Republican members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs passed H.R. 2829, the U.N. Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2011. Among other things, the legislation seeks to withhold funding for several important U.N. programs and initiatives. The action of the House Committee on this issue seeks to restrict U.S. participation in the Human Rights Council which had issued a groundbreaking resolution addressing violence, discrimination, and incitement to religious hatred and the first ever resolution addressing violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.

"Eliminating U.S. engagement with the Human Rights Council would undermine the global leadership of the United States and our ability to build support to advance vital human rights protections for people around the world," read the letter from The Leadership Conference.

A key provision of the bill that cuts funding to U.N. bodies tasked with implementing human rights conventions to which the U.S. is not a party, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the most comprehensive women's human rights treaty. This cut in funding would undermine the U.N.'s work in advancing the rights of women worldwide.

See this letter written by the Leadership Conference sent to members of the committee on October 13, 2011. letter opposing H.R. 2829

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