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Over a decade ago it was generally expected that the end of the Cold War would usher in the revival of the United Nations At that time the UN negotiated a string of settlements that resolved conflicts between Iran and Iraq incited the removal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and ended El Salvadors chronic civil war This short window of success inspired the view that it was the Cold War that had prohibited the United Nations from being a valuable world mediator Boutros Boutros-Ghali the new Secretary-General exhorted member-nations to seize this extraordinary opportunity to activate long-moribund provisions of the UN Charter Similarly columnist Morton Kondracke observed the United Nations is suddenly alive again and doing useful work Today that false hope has lost much of its luster The UN of the 21st Century is fraught with financial shortfalls and an overstretched peacekeeping force that prevent the global body from achieving its objectives Clearly then the United Nations needs reform A broadbased overhaul of UN financial policies and practices must be executed For much of its history the United Nations has been plagued by fraud waste and overgrown bureaucracy Exactly how much fiscal deceit exists cannot be answered with precision as the UN has never subjected itself to a comprehensive audit Anxious that such crises might agitate an already inflamed budget the General Assembly has voted to freeze UN expenditures at about 26 billion for the past six years After accounting for inflation and unpaid dues by every member-state but one this means that the UN is grossly underfunded American arrears amount to over 169 billion one-third of the UNs budget In 1995 the GOP-controlled Congress brazenly slashed its 31 share of UN finances to 25 a move British Foreign Minister Rifkind deemed representation without taxation Such financial malaise prevents the UN from fulfilling its lofty ambitions and renders effective peacekeeping utterly impossible In the 1990s a practically bankrupt UN was unable to
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