US ambassador hails $285m cut in funding for UN as 'big step in the right direction'

‘We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked’

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Tuesday 26 December 2017 08:24
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Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, says ‘inefficiency and overspending’ of organisation is well-known
Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, says ‘inefficiency and overspending’ of organisation is well-known

The United States government has claimed to have negotiated a significant cut to the United Nations budget.

The US Mission to the UN said the 2018/19 budget would be slashed by over $285m (£213m) and reductions would also be made to the UN’s management and support functions.

But the announcement did not make clear what effect the budget reduction will have on the US contribution.

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Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said the “inefficiency and overspending” of the organisation is well-known.

“We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked,” she said.

“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.”

It comes after Donald Trump threatened to cut off aid to any country in the UN that voted against his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“Let them vote against us,” the US President said. “We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

Ms Haley sent letters to over 180 countries warning them Washington would be taking the names of those who voted against the US.

The UN General Assembly went on to vote overwhelmingly to denounce Mr Trump’s decision.

The nonbinding resolution declaring the US decision on Jerusalem “null and void” was approved 128-9.

It reaffirmed what has been the UN’s stand on the divided holy city since 1967: Jerusalem’s final status must be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Trump administration made it clear the vote would have no effect on its plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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