Responding to the UN vote to accept the proposal for identifying Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the US government has decided to reduce its commitment to the United Nations for the two years of 2018 and 2019, Washington announced recently.
U.S. president Donald Trump had decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and had taken the matter to vote at the UN last week, where the proposal had been condemned by the global body. Most of the member countries of the UN had voted against the proposal despite repeated threats from the US president and the U.S. ambassador to the global forum about the possibility of the US slashing its UN budget as a retaliatory measure.
And continuing with its threats, a $285 million was slashed by the U.S. government from the allocated by it for the UN as a result of the voting and as a retaliatory measure.
While the cuts are not expected to be introduced in the areas that are related to maintaining of the for peacekeeping operations, the specific areas of the budget that would be cut off by the US were not exactly specified by Washington.
After the vote on 21 December, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said: “We will remember it when, once again, we are called up to make the world’s largest contribution to the UN and we will remember it when many countries come calling on us to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”
Haley said on Sunday: “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of.”
A tradition of over spending and being inefficient exists at the UN, se added. “This historic reduction in spending — in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable U.N. — is a big step in the right direction.”
“I’m very pleased at the results of the budget negotiations and the US will continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency while protecting our interests,” she also said.
“This is all so misleading, the US fights hard, together with other countries, every year to cut UN budget & regularly does. This is neither new nor a US ‘decision,’ ” tweeted Bathsheba Crocker who was the head of the State Department office responsible for international organizations under the Obama administration.
There are estimations that the U.S accounts for about 28.5 per cent of the total budget for peace keeping operations while it also accounts for almost 22 per cent of the annual budget of the UN.
(Adapted from Digitallook.com)