US admits debt problem hurts UN reputation – Reuters

Washington’s delay in UN dues creates ‘challenge’ exploited by China, envoy says

The fact that the United States is billions of dollars behind on its commitments to the UN is hurting Washington’s ability to influence the world body, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Relations Committee on Wednesday. foreigners of the Senate. While the US delegation resisted attempts to shame the issue, it created an opening for China, she told lawmakers.

Thomas-Greenfield and USAID Administrator Samantha Power testified before the committee Wednesday morning, with “global food security” the main topic and most of the questions about grain exports from Russia and Ukraine halted by the conflict. About halfway through the hearing, however, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) raised the issue of the US debt.

“That is really the core of the challenge I face in New York every day, as we are put in a position where we have to compete with our adversaries to be able to influence the actions of the UN,” Thomas-Greenfield responded.

“We are publicly reminded – and we have tried to shame, but we don’t feel shame – that we have such a huge debt, such huge arrears, at the UN. So we really have to fix that if we want to be competitive…” she added.

When Murphy suggested this left openings for China or Russia, Thomas-Greenfield pointed out that Beijing was able to fund positions for around 400 young professionals at the UN, while the US could not. .

“Every gap we leave is an opening for the Chinese. They flow into every open space we leave,” she says.

Thomas-Greenfield and Power spent much of the hearing blaming Russia for grain and fertilizer shortages in the world market, insisting it had nothing to do with the states’ embargo States and its allies against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.

Such charges are “lies,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told RT and Sputnik in an interview on Wednesday. Lavrov pointed out that the sanctions target ships, port facilities and insurance, with the effect of cutting off Russian grain exports, while Ukrainian grain is blocked in ports operated by order of kyiv.

The United States and its allies now “want to drag the UN Secretary General into their games”, said Lavrov.

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