Promoting Equality and Accountability at the United Nations Act of 2017

April 28, 2017
April 28, 2017
Referred to House (sub)committee

Through a variety of measures, this bill would condition or otherwise limit U.S. contributions to “promote reform” and limit the UN’s alleged “anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias.” As written, the bill specifically targets 3 major UN agencies—UNRWA, UNHRC, and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR)—and codifies a new set of conditions for U.S. support to a potential future Palestinian state

Regarding UNRWA, the bill would withhold U.S. contributions until the secretary of state certified that no UNRWA employee or affiliate was a member of a designated foreign terrorist organization; used UNRWA resources to disseminate political materials; or propagated anti-U.S., anti-Israel, or anti-Semitic rhetoric or propaganda. The secretary would also have to certify that no UNRWA facility was being used by such organizations; UNRWA was subject to comprehensive financial audits; no UNRWA school used textbooks that include anti-U.S., antiIsrael, or anti-Semitic rhetoric; no recipient of UNRWA funds was a member of a designated FTO; and UNRWA held no assets with financial institutions deemed by the United States to be complicit in money laundering and financial terrorism. While the abovementioned certifications were active, U.S. contributions to UNRWA would be further limited to 22% of the agency’s total budget that year or the highest amount contributed to the agency by a member of the Arab League, whichever was lower

In a related, yet nonbinding provision, the bill would request that the president urge other countries to suspend their contributions to UNRWA until the agency fulfilled the conditions listed above, and responsibility for Palestinian refugees be transferred to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Regarding the other two agencies, U.S. contributions to UNHRC and UNHCR would be suspended until the secretary of state certified that U.S. participation in the UNHRC was in the U.S. national interest; that the UNHRC had removed Israel and human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories as permanent agenda items; the UNHRC did not include any member states subject to UNSC sanctions, or one under UNSC investigation for human rights abuses; and the percentage of U.S. citizens employed at the senior level in each of the UNHCR’s major divisions was at least equal to the percentage of total U.S. contributions to the UN’s overall budget. The secretary would also have to report to Congress on the status of these conditions within 90 days of the bill’s passage into law. Finally, the bill would establish as U.S. policy to pursue the repeal of the UNHRC resolution, adopted 3/24/16, allowing for the creation of a “blacklist” of businesses that operate in Israeli settlements.

The bill would further block the United States from appointing any official as a representative to a UN agency that has granted full membership to “any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood” (Palestine being one) and establish a policy of opposing any UN entity or agency’s recognition of a Palestinian state outside a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

More info

For more information, Click Here to visit this measure’s page at

Legislation Topics