Since the UN’s founding in 1945, the United States has been the organization’s largest funder. As a permanent member of the Security Council and host of UN Headquarters, the U.S. arguably has more clout than other UN member states, and its leadership in providing financial support to the organization is a reflection of that influential role.

Strong and consistent U.S. engagement with the UN is critical to advancing US foreign policy, national security, economic, and humanitarian priorities on a number of fronts. From peacekeeping missions that promote stability in various parts of the world, to its work on issues as varied as nonproliferation, counterterrorism, human rights, and development, the UN is a force-multiplier for the U.S., addressing global challenges that—due to their complexity and cost—the U.S. can’t possibly be expected to confront alone.

While the UN’s work covers a broad array of issues and impacts U.S. interests in virtually every corner of the globe, the total amount of U.S. contributions to the UN consumes a very small portion of the US annual budget. Overall, only 1.4% of the federal budget is devoted to foreign aid (including contributions to the UN). US peacekeeping and regular budget dues account for just 0.2% of the annual U.S. federal budget.

While the U.S. is the largest single contributor to the UN’s regular and peacekeeping budgets (responsible for paying 22% and 28% of these budgets respectively), other UN member states pay the vast majority of costs associated with the activities funded by these assessments. Moreover, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the U.S. ultimately has final say over the size of the peacekeeping budget—by far the largest of all of the UN system’s assessed budgets since no peacekeeping mission can be authorized, expanded, or withdrawn from the field without U.S. consent.

When the U.S. fails to pay its peacekeeping and regular budget dues, it jeopardizes UN programs that are manifestly in US national interests and negatively impacts its ability to advance its  agenda at the UN. In order to continue reaping the benefits of engagement with the UN, and to be able to influence the organization’s overall direction, it is critical that the US make its dues payments on-time and in-full.

Moreover, a bipartisan poll conducted in January of 2017 found that more than 67 percent of Americans agree the U.S. should pay its dues to the UN. In regards to UN Peacekeeping, more than 70 percent of Americans agreed the U.S. should pay its dues.


  1. The average cost per American for UN Regular budget is $ 1.99
  2. US makes up 0.1% of UN peacekeeping troops while other countries make up 99.9%
  3. For every $ 1 the US contributes to the UN Secretariat, as part of its regular budget and peacekeeping dues, the US receives $ 1.60 in contracts for US-based business and benefits to New York’s economy (60% ROI annual return)



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