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Rep. Luna: It's Time to Defund the U.N. Here's Where to Start

It's no secret that the United States is throwing American tax dollars at institutions and nations that are not beneficial to our interests or values. We are reminded of this every time we open the newspaper or social media, where we can see evidence of Washington funding agendas contrary to our own. But a truly astonishing example of our misplaced funding was on clear display last week, when a U.N. amendment condemning Hamas for its deadly, brutal attacks on the Jewish people failed to receive a two-thirds majority. 55 countries voted against the resolution, while 23 abstained. And the United Nations General Assembly applauded.


This is no surprise to those who have followed the U.N.'s long record of blatantly ignoring the "human rights" they claim to champion through their Council dedicated to that cause. And yet, the United States is the largest donor to the United Nations. U.S. taxpayers fund over 20 percent on average of the U.N.'s budget every year to support policies and actions that do not align with our own.


Enough.


The U.N. should be defunded, starting with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).


Supposedly the premier torchbearer for global human rights, the UNHRC is severely compromised and serves no strategic purpose to the U.S.; as with most of our foreign aid, it does the opposite.

It has no trouble electing member nations like China, Cuba, Venezuela, and Pakistan to opine on human rights, despite the fact these nations regularly engage in the most abysmal actions against humanity possible. In May, the UNHRC appointed Iran to chair the 2023 U.N. Human Rights Council Social Forum, which is set to begin just a few weeks after Iranian "morality police" reportedly beat to death a 16-year-old girl for not wearing a hijab.


Not sure about you, but I don't want Iran weighing in on my freedoms.


Yet the only country the UNHRC is concerned with is Israel. It is the only nation subject to a targeted agenda item at every Council meeting.


The UNHCR uses Item #7 to investigate Israel for violations against "Occupied Palestinian Territory," an item that remains in effect "until the end of the Israeli occupation." According to a UN Watch database, Israel has received 140 General Assembly condemnatory resolutions since 2015 alone. By comparison, North Korea has received eight, Iran seven, and China zero.


The hypocrisy in all of this is that while the UNHRC lectures Israel on defense, China is actively putting Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps and enacting campaigns of indoctrination, torture, and forced sterilization.


Until the U.N. can defend objective human rights, not subjective ideological bias, it is a scourge to the values it claims to champion.

Yet its misdeeds don't end there. In addition to targeting the U.S.'s greatest ally, UNHRC's other priorities read like a woke and weaponized wish list, including a "racial justice body" to address systemic racism in policing that is targeted at America and opining on migrants flooding our borders.


It's ludicrous. The entire global "Human Rights" framework, rooted in the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and made up of nebulous NGOs and institutions, is a construct of an earlier era. Immediately after WWII, there was righteous anger at tyrannical forces committing gross violations on defenseless populations. There were also fears that a rival authoritarian power such as the USSR or Communist China would harm U.S. interests and perpetuate tyranny like the Third Reich had. Most importantly, the global balance of power was different: America's GDP dwarfed that of the rest of the world, making it an international leader, and Europe still held some political sway over a significant part of the globe.


All of this changed with time.

Many countries did not share the same interests as the West in institutions like the U.N.; in fact, they mostly opposed and formed coalitions against our interests. The focus on human rights created a bloated bureaucracy of trans-national groups that undermine democracy and take advantage of America's goodwill. Promoting human rights through such institutions or taxpayer funding never was the most important national interest of the U.S. But now it is an albatross on our exhausted neck. It has resulted in mass migration to our borders and depleted national resources in meaningless foreign wars. Worse, it has handcuffed America from taking action. When a mob of institutions decides there is only one way forward, democracy loses meaning.


Reversing this problem will not be easy, but defunding the UNHRC is a start. The money we send to the U.N. could easily be reoriented to protect Americans—instead of tearing down our allies and wasting resources on virtue-signaling.


This is why I introduced a bill to defund the UNHRC.


Specifically, my bill prohibits taxpayer dollars from going to the UNHRC until the U.N. Security Council and U.N. General Assembly adopt a clear resolution that condemns Hamas and acknowledges Israel's right to defend itself. It would also be a template for future bills where we use the power of our economy to orient institutions towards policies which benefit American taxpayers.


We could surely use the funds recovered from promoting the U.N.'s slanted priorities to protect our own border, stop importing terrorism, and help our own people from Ohio to Maui.


It's time to stand up to hypocrisy and human rights abusers. The U.S. must stop paying for the U.N.'s hate.


Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna serves as the Representative for Florida's Thirteenth Congressional District. Rep. Luna is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus and is a US Air Force veteran.


The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

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