September 13, 1988

The President announced today that he has signed a determination releasing to the United Nations $44 million withheld pending reforms in the U.N. system. This action represents recognition of the renewed effectiveness of the United Nations as an organization serving the cause of world peace and stability.

Reflecting concerns shared by the administration regarding U.N. administrative and budgetary practices, Congress established requirements for release of fiscal year 1988 and 1989 funds for U.S. contributions to the United Nations. The U.N. has made progress toward a consensus budget process, limitations on secondment of staff to the Secretariat, and Secretariat staff reductions. The President has determined that these actions fulfill the legislative requirements for release of outstanding fiscal year 1988 funds. The Secretary of State has been directed to inform Congress, as required by law. The President expects that similar determinations will be possible for releasing fiscal year 1989 funds as they become available.

In addition to adopting important organizational reforms, the United Nations is also undertaking major new peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf, and prospects for further peacekeeping exist in other critical areas. In its peacekeeping efforts, the U.N. is directly serving important, long-term objectives of this administration to end regional conflicts and advance peace and freedom around the world. The President's action makes it clear that the United States is prepared to meet its obligations in support of these peacekeeping efforts. As an indication of our commitment to an effective United Nations, the President also announced his intention to include full funding to meet the U.S. contribution to the U.N. system and U.N. peacekeeping in the fiscal year 1990 budget, which he will submit to Congress in January.

In announcing these decisions, the President called on the United Nations to continue progress in areas where reform remains incomplete. The President reiterated the commitment of the United States to assist the U.N. in its reform program as well as in its new peacekeeping efforts.