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The United States and United Nations

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The United Nations was formed in 1945 after the Second World War to replace the League of Nations. The United States played a key role in the formation of this body with the then president, Franklin Roosevelt even accredited with the coining of its name.

The United States is not only a member of the General Assembly but also retains a permanent seat within the Security Council. This means that it has a power to Veto any binding United Nations resolution.

The United States offers support to the United Nations in a number of ways. At the turn of the new millennium US had contributed about 500 million to UN Peacekeeping, approximately 565 million to UN and Development related agencies and about 1 billion to UN humanitarian agencies.

United States was the largest contributor to the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and has strongly supported the establishment of special courts for Cambodia and Sierra-Leone

The US also contributes military observers to about 7 UN Missions and US troops have been known to work in cooperation with UN operations in Kosovo, Bosnia and East Timor.

When the US felt that UNESCO had a bloated bureaucracy and felt that its members were anti-Western in the manner that it was run, the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affair at the time (Gregory Newell) announced that US would be withdrawing from UNESCO. Newell declared that the US would be willing to rejoin when UNESCO returned to its original purposes and principles. The fact that the US was a major contributor of funds within UNESCO (contributing 25% of the groups 374 million biennial program budget) would cause major set backs in the program. In September 2002 however, President George W. Bush announced that the US would be rejoining UNESCO as a symbol of the country's commitment to human dignity.

The US has also been known to default in payments due to the UN in order to force the UN to comply with US wishes as well as a reduction in US assessment since 1845. After prolonged negotiations UN agreed to reduce the assessment rate from 25% to 22% and the US agreed to pay 1.2 billion in 3 tranches.

In March 2003 the US with support of about 50 other states which the Bush administration referred to as the "Coalition of the willing" launched military operations in Iraq coined the "war against terrorism"; the United Nations would have preferred a more peaceful approach to the matter. In November 2002 it had given Iraq the ultimatum of cooperating in the disarmament of the weapons of mass destruction within a time frame of a few months. US stated that since Iraq had failed to comply by cooperating fully in the identification and destruction of its weapons program, under Resolution 1441 (which promised 'serious



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