Nikki Haley Announces Big Cut To UN Budget

Will Racke | Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter

The United Nations has agreed on a 2018-2019 budget that includes a steep reduction in spending, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced over the weekend.

The upcoming biennial U.N. budget will drop by $285 million — about 5 percent — from the 2016-2017 level, in what Haley says is a “big step in the right direction” toward making the U.N. more accountable.

“The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known,” she said in a statement Sunday night. “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked.”

U.S. negotiators were seeking a $250 million cut to the U.N. budget for 2018-19, in addition to about $200 million in savings already proposed by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to Agence France-Presse. The U.S. provides about 22 percent of the U.N.’s biennial budget — roughly $1.2 billion — and about 28 percent of its funding for peacekeeping efforts. (RELATED: FACT CHECK: Does The US Pay Over 20 Percent Of The UN Budget?)

Haley’s announcement comes a week after the U.N. general assembly passed a resolution denouncing President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy there. Ahead of the vote, both Haley and Trump warned that the U.S. would keep the result in mind when deciding Washington’s future contributions to the U.N.

“We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations,” Haley said at the time. “And we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”

The final budget cut exceeds the $200 million reduction targeted by Guterres, who proposed capping the U.N. budget at $5.4 billion. Even after successfully trimming the 2018-2019 budget, Haley says the U.S. will look for other areas in which it can make additional cuts.

“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 U.N.’s efficiency while protecting our interests,” she said.

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