Case Study Sector
In the mid-1980s, the U.S. government began to pull back from participation in the U.N., and Congress began to hold back a portion of its U.N. dues. By the mid-1990s the U.N. was more than $2 billion in debt, and roughly half of that amount was owing to the arrears chargeable to the United States.
In September 1997, the United Nations received an unexpected windfall when billionaire media mogul R.E. "Ted" Turner surprised the audience at a Washington awards banquet by pledging to donate $1 billion to the United Nations. To administer his gift, Turner created the U.N. Foundation and its affiliate, the Better World Fund. According to the Foundation’s president, former Senator Timothy Wirth, "[w]e set four broad priority areas: Women and population stabilization, sustainable environment and climate change, children’s health, and strengthening the U.N. system." In effect, the United Nations Foundation handled the first three priorities, and the Better World Fund pursued the fourth. To that end, the Better World Fund quickly took up the case for repayment of the U.S. arrears to the United Nations by adopting a strategy composed of seven primary elements: advertising, media outreach, direct lobbying of legislators, local "grasstops" lobbying, polling, strategic partnerships, and collaboration with the executive branch.
- Field Building
- Northern America