The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 5, 2001

President Signs United Nations Bill
Statement by the President

     Today I am pleased to sign into law S. 248, which authorizes U.S. payments to the United Nations.  This payment constitutes the second of three payments of arrears.  When I met with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in March, I told him that the United States was committed to paying the arrears it owes to the United Nations.  Today, I am glad to take this important step towards fulfilling that commitment.

     As the world's preeminent multilateral institution, the United Nations plays a critical role in defusing international crises, resolving longstanding conflicts, and alleviating suffering, poverty, and disease. The United Nations also has a vital role in cracking down on violators of international law and eliminating sources of funding for terrorist operations.

     This release of funds will enhance the close bond between the United States and the United Nations, and will help to facilitate the work the United States carries out in concert with other U.N. members.

     In making these funds available, Republicans and Democrats in the Congress have again demonstrated their willingness to work together in a constructive manner to address our Nation's challenges at this important time in our history.  I would like to pay a special tribute to Senators Helms and Biden, whose leadership has served as a catalyst for U.N. reform, and provided a means for the United States to fulfill its international obli-gations.  I also wish to thank Representatives Hyde and Lantos, who have worked in a bipartisan manner toward making this payment to the United Nations a reality.

                               GEORGE W. BUSH


     October 5, 2001.

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