Photo by IIP Photo Archive/Flickr
The United States claims to have cut its budget contribution to the United Nations (UN), in the most recent salvo in a strained relationship between the world’s most important intergovernmental organisation and the world’s most powerful nation.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said that the United States had slashed $285m (£213m) from the budget for the fiscal year of 2018-19.
The United Nations had previously revealed that it would reduce its budget to $5.4bn, $200m less compared to the previous year, which Antonio Guterres, the secretary general, described as a part of his attempts to streamline the organisation. The said budget was agreed upon Sunday.
The US mission to the United Nations also claimed that it had cut the “UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key US priorities throughout the world and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system.”
Haley described the move as a “historic reduction in spending” and stated that the United States would continue to look for some ways to improve the efficiency of the organisation, a pointed warning that it could utilise its financial muscle in order to exert further pressure on the United Nations.
In a statement, Haley stated: “The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known. We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked.”
While the headquarters of the United Nations in New York is only a short walk away from the residence of the US President, the Trump Tower, his administration has not been able to see eye to eye with the organisation.
The budget slash came after the general assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution during the previous week condemning the decision of the United States to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, a move that was made by the administration of US President Donald Trump that was widely seen as inflammatory. Haley bemoaned the “irresponsible ways” of the United Nations after the vote.
However, President Trump has also displayed some signs of wanting the help of the United Nations on other matters: the President hailed the decision of the UN Security Council to impose additional sanctions on North Korea the following day.