Although the Mulroney government is frequently accused of bowing to United States’ pressure on various policy matters, this is not the case when it comes to United Nations’ funding.
Canada’s contribution to the UN will increase by 9.8 per cent in 1986, if parliament approves. A total of $91 million is budgeted, an increase of just over $8 million.
The largest portion, $64 million, is going to the UN Development Programmer, an increase of 8.4 per cent. UNICEF will receive a 9.3 per cent increase, a sum of $14.5 million. Last year, the UN Development Fund for Women received a grant of $150,000, this year it will get $1 million. The UN Fund for Population Activities will receive an increase of 9.8 per cent, $11.25 million.
The Reagan administration recently announced that it is withholding its 1986 contribution to UNFPA, until UNFPA withdraws its financial support from the People’s Republic of China’s programme of coerced abortion. The U.S. contributes approximately one third of the UNFPA’s annual budget, and the 1986 contribution is approximately $40 million. According to the U.S. National Right to Life News (January 9, 1986), UNFPA has given $100 million to China’s “family planning” programmes.
UNFPA officials point to China as a model family planning programme, it even awarded the Chinese family planning minister a special award for “the most outstanding contribution to the awareness of population questions.”