Yesterday before the United Nations General Assembly, President Clinton faced an organization that is likely to strip the United States of its General Assembly vote by the end of the year for its failure to pay over $1.5 billion it owes in dues. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led by its Chair Jesse Helms, is preventing the Clinton administration from settling its debt with the UN unless the president agrees to approve a bill requiring him to forbid family-planning funds for any group working against abortion laws — a condition Clinton has thus far refused to accept.
Clinton tried to mend his credibility in the international community with a speech that focused exclusively on the fight against terrorism but did not once mention his decision to go ahead with controversial bombings in Sudan and Afghanistan.
- Farhan Haq, United Nations correspondent for Inter-Press Service, a Third World news agency.
- Jeff Laurenti, Director of Policy Studies at the United Nations Association of the United States, an advocacy and research organization that has been pushing the U.S. to pay its dues.
- Phyllis Bennis, Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of the book, Calling the Shots: How the U.S. Dominates the United Nations.