The President Donald Trump-led government of the United States on Sunday announced that it has reduced its contribution to the U.N.’s annual budget by $285 million – nearly 25 percent – an announcement that comes days after more than 120 nations criticized the U.S. for its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The announcement was made by the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, in a statement she issued.
It is understood that the General Assembly adopted a budget of $5.396 billion for 2018-2019, slightly below the $5.4 billion that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had sought.
“Today, the United Nations agreed on a budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Among a host of other successes, the United States negotiated a reduction of over $285m off the 2018-2019 final budget.
“In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key U.S. priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system.
“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. This historic reduction in spending – in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable UN – is a big step in the right direction.
“While we are pleased with the results of this year’s budget negotiations, you can be sure we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency while protecting our interests,” said Ambassador Haley.
Haley’s statement comes on the back of a contentious week at the U.N, after which 128 nations voted in a “stunning rebuke” of President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The full UN vote – which the US & Israel lost 128-9, with 35 brave abstentions – is here: pic.twitter.com/ZtrztqTgyK
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 21, 2017
The resolution, backed by nations with long records of extreme human rights abuses, passed 128-9 last Thursday.
It is understood also that nine countries voted “no”: Honduras, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Togo, Guatemala, the U.S. and Israel.
The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2016
As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016
In addition, 35 countries abstained from the vote and 21 were “absent.” In all, 128 countries supported the measure.
Prior to the vote, Trump had threatened to cut foreign financial aid to any countries who opposed the move.
“Let them vote against us,” Trump said, adding that “We will save a lot.”