President Reagan said Friday the United Nations must make "further progress on reform" to satisfy concerns that have prompted the United States to withhold dues from the world organization.
Reagan's remarks to U.N. Secretary General Perez de Cuellar were relayed to reporters by White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater after a meeting between the two officials.The United States has withheld about $44 million in current contributions to the United Nations because of objections to its budget and personnel procedures.
"The president said that the U.S. recognizes its obligations to the U.N. but that further progress on reform was necessary to meet the concerns of Congress, which the administration shares," Fitzwater said.
Fitzwater said that Reagan hopes the problem of overdue U.S. contributions to the world organization "can be worked out."
The White House spokesman listed three areas in which the United States desires U.N. reforms: the U.N. budget-making process, the need for a 15 percent cut in U.N. personnel and the practice of short-term contracting of Soviet U.N. employees so that they remain under their government's control instead of becoming U.N. career employees.
Perez de Cuellar warned last month that U.N. budget arrears of $691 million, including $467 million run up by the United States, would leave the organization out of money, with all its reserves exhausted, by late October or early November. He was expected to warn Reagan that the United Nations might be unable to meet its payroll.