United Nations Foundation
CLS was hired to launch a campaign focused on the urgencies of paying the U.S. debt to the United Nations. At the time, the U.S. owed about one billion dollars in arrears to the UN for their dues, and refused to pay citing the need for UN reform. CNN founder Ted Turner established the United Nations Foundation, and its affiliate the Better World Campaign, to bolster the U.S.-UN relationship, demonstrate the importance of the UN to domestic audiences and encourage the U.S. to pay its debts to the UN.
CLS developed and implemented a large-scale public affairs campaign aimed at raising awareness among key stakeholder groups, including policymakers and the media about the need for the U.S. to pay its UN arrears. CLS conducted research and message testing, and found that the most effective way to talk about this issue was to convey that the U.S. should keep its promise to fund the UN. The firm also conducted third party outreach, and secured endorsements for the campaign from major grasstops influencers, including six former Secretaries of State who penned a joint letter and later appeared in an ad. CLS also generated stories, editorials and op-eds to build public support for the U.S. to pay its UN debts.
Efforts culminated in the landmark 1999 Helms-Biden agreement wherein the U.S. agreed to pay its UN arrears of nearly $1 billion in full.