Thirty Years of Voting in the U.N. General Assembly: The U.S. Is Nearly Always in the Minority

Congress has been concerned for decades that countries receiving American foreign aid often oppose U.S. initiatives and priorities in the United Nations. A State Department annual report on the voting practices in the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA), mandated by Congress since 1983, shows that in the past 30 years voting coincidence with the U.S. surpassed 50 percent only twice. Moreover, the vast majority of recipients of U.S. foreign assistance routinely oppose U.S. diplomatic initiatives and vote against the U.S. The most recent report confirms yet again that most recipients of foreign aid voted against the U.S. in the UNGA in 2012. To address this issue, Congress should instruct State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to take into account countries’ U.N. voting practices when allocating America’s development assistance.

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