(CNSNews.com) – As Republican lawmakers seek ways to trim U.S. funding to the United Nations, a far-reaching review of British development aid spending due for release on Tuesday will make for interesting reading.
At least four U.N. agencies reportedly are in the firing line, and will either lose their funding or be put on notice to improve their performance immediately.
They are the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in
The Conservative-led coalition government that took office last year has pledged to ensure that taxpayers get the best value possible for one of the world’s biggest foreign aid budgets.
The report to be released on Tuesday followed a nine-month “multilateral aid review” carried out by the Department for International Development (DFID).
“Nearly half of the
Ahead of the report’s release to parliament a DFID spokesman said Monday the “shake-up” would place greater focus on a smaller number of countries and cut funding to poor-performing international agencies.
“Poor-performing international development agencies, including U.N. and World Bank organizations, will be stripped of around 50 million pounds ($81.3 m) of funding after the review found they are not giving
“Other agencies will immediately be put on special measures – meaning the
A checkered history
UNESCO, whose stated aim is to promote global understanding through culture, education and science, has been given notice to meet specific targets in the coming months to justify continued funding. The agency gets $19.5 million (12 million pounds) a year from
It gets significantly more from the
UNESCO’s approved regular budget for the two-year period 2010-2011 is $653 million.
The Obama administration requested $75.9 million for contributions to UNESCO in fiscal year 2009, $80.9 million in 2010 and $84.8 million in 2011.
UNESCO has had a rocky history with Western governments. The Reagan administration and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government both withdrew in the 1980s, accusing the agency of mismanagement and an anti-Western agenda.
There have been some controversies since, some of them arising from authoritarian member states’ attempts to blunt the agency’s mandate to promote freedom of expression.
UNESCO’s executive board raised eyebrows in 2006 when it approved an Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-introduced motion arising from the furor over the publication of cartoons satirizing Mohammed.
In 2008, UNESCO withdrew its patronage of an event called Online Free Expression Day, after a media freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders, which organized the program, published material including its annual list of “Internet Enemies” – countries like
Reporters Without Borders accused UNESCO of caving in after coming under pressure from some of the governments on the list.
In 2009 the post of UNESCO director-general was up for grabs after Matsuura’s second term approached an end. OIC, Arab and African states put forward an Egyptian candidate who had made waves by threatening to burn any Israeli books found in an Egyptian library.
In a rare victory for Western democracies at the U.N., the Egyptian was narrowly defeated by a Bulgarian candidate, Irina Bokova.
Last year the
“To demonstrate the value of
Killion said victories like the director-general election and blocking of the Obiang prize and World Philosophy Day initiatives enable the