Foreign Aid Used to Manipulate U.N. Votes

| Mon Nov. 27, 2006 8:46 PM EST

From the Atlantic (sub only):

The occupants of the ten rotating seats on the United Nations Security Council may, in effect, be trading their votes for cash, argues an article in The Journal of Political Economy. When nations begin their two-year terms on the Security Council, the aid they receive directly from the UN jumps 8 percent. Once a country's term expires, aid immediately drops to pre-membership levels, leading the authors to reject the possibility that temporary members receive more aid because they have become more visible. During periods when the Security Council is very active (and when temporary members' votes are more valuable), annual aid for developing countries holding temporary seats rises 166 percent. The authors single out the United States as an especially likely vote buyer: rotating members receive 59 percent more U.S. foreign aid while on the council, and their gains in direct UN aid come primarily via UNICEF, an organization seen as a center of U.S. influence.

For more [pdf]: "How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations," Ilyana Kuziemko and Eric Werker, The Journal of Political Economy

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.