|Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., met with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan last week at U.N. headquarters in New York to discuss Iraq's latest response to the organization's demands from weapons inspections teams, ongoing international initiatives to fight terrorism, and ensuring the U.N. is managed as effectively as possible.
Enzi, who serves as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Terrorism which oversees the U.N., was appointed by the President as one of two congressional delegates to the U.N. This status carries with it the full diplomatic rank and privileges.
Enzi also met with U.N. Counter-Terrorism Committee Chairperson, British Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock, about U.N. Resolution 1373, which established the committee to curb money laundering to terrorists, as well as improving border security, export control regulatory frameworks, and encouraging information sharing among member states.
"Cutting off the flow of money has disrupted terrorist cells. However, the job has become more difficult as terrorists resort to using gold and gems as forms of payment, but even that leaves a money trail," said Enzi. "Anti-money laundering plans combined with counterterrorism efforts may be the single biggest reason there hasn't been another terrorist attack."
Enzi believes Greenstock will be a significant part of history because this is the first time the Security Council has taken such bold measures and he has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in advancing the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism around the world.
Enzi said more than 170 countries of the 192 member states have responded to Greenstock's request for submission of anti-money laundering and counterterrorism plans with the U.N. and many countries have already had arrests, prosecutions and convictions as a direct result of these efforts.
Enzi said Greenstock is now working with some member states to assist them in passing national legislation to back up their plans. For many countries that have already accomplished that task, Greenstock has been working on several regional alliances to encourage other countries to continue to improve their counterterrorism methods.
In addition to discussing Iraq and other issues with Annan, Enzi specifically addressed the need for budgetary reform at the United Nations.
"The U.N.'s reform measures have not been merely about cost cutting, they have mostly addressed getting more of our money's worth out of the organization. However, I'm pleased that the Secretary General has placed an emphasis on the need for reform and has already doing the measures he can do administratively without having to wait for approval from the General Assembly. The idea is to get things going so that people understand that reform is not completely threatening," said Enzi.
Enzi further addressed the need for budgetary reform at a meeting with the Geneva Group, which is comprised of 14 U.N. member states that together pay 83 percent of the U.N. regular budget. Enzi said the U.S., which is paying about 22 percent of the regular budget or approximately $280 million annually, has seen a decrease in the number of Americans filling key positions within the U.N. leadership. Enzi said this is cause for concern since the U.S. is paying the biggest portion of the bill.
"This was an important meeting because country leaders gave feedback about their own priorities for U.N. reform," said Enzi. "Each country is interested in reducing their budgetary commitments to the U.N., while at the same time maintaining the capacity of those operations that they agree are priorities, such as anti-money laundering and counterrorism efforts."
Enzi also held meetings with other officials including, U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N., Ambassador John Negroponte, and U.S. Ambassador on U.N. Management and Reform Patrick Kennedy. Enzi also met with U.S. Ambassador Joe Conner, the chief economist and accountant for the United Nations.