UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ The Ford Foundation is paying $390,000 for a private committee of U.S. and foreign leaders to review the priorities and problems of the United Nations, a spokesman said today.

Peter Fromuth of the U.N. Association of the United States said his organization's chairman, former U.S. Defense Secretary Elliot Richardson, will be chairman of the private review panel.

The group will consist of nine Americans, five representatives from other developed countries and seven representatives of the developing world, Fromuth said.

The committee, which has the support of Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, will hold its first meeting in April and is expected to produce a final report in 1987.

The group will concentrate on whether the United Nations is doing things it should not be doing, or not doing things it should be doing, Fromuth said.