UN Funding

U.S. Contributions Withheld for UN-PLO Activities Gao ID: NSIAD-86-17 December 6, 1985

In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of State's efforts to comply with legislative provisions requiring the withholding of U.S.-assessed contributions to the United Nations (UN) for organizations and projects whose primary purpose is to provide political benefits to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

GAO found that: (1) from 1980 through 1984, the United States has withheld over $4.6 million from UN in compliance with restrictions which Congress placed on contributions to UN projects which have the primary purpose of benefiting PLO; (2) these annual withholdings equaled 25 percent of the budgeted costs for UN PLO-related activities; (3) UN believed that the withholding of certain indirect costs is inappropriate because the costs would be required whether or not the activities existed; (4) UN contended that withholding for the estimated full cost of conferences was inappropriate because such costs usually overstate the actual costs; (5) although State officials agreed that they may be withholding more than is actually spent, they will not adjust the current method of costing the conferences until UN provides data on the actual costs of each conference; (6) there were no apparent weaknesses in the State efforts to identify appropriate UN-sponsored activities subject to withholding; and (7) there were no clear-cut instances of UN-funded activities related to political support of the PLO which State did not identify. Therefore, GAO believes that State is reasonably complying with the legislative restrictions on U.S. contributions to UN for PLO-related activities.

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