The United States (U.S.) has dealt a major blow to the finances of the United Nations (UN) after the country’s Ambassador to the organisation Nikki Haley announced a historic reduction in its biennial operating budget.
Haley called the development “a big step in the right direction,” saying that the plan calls for a $285 million cut for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
“The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known,” Haley said.
“We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked.”
She added, “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.”
The UN budget now covers a two-year period, beginning in January of an even-numbered year.
The United States was seeking a $250 million cut to the UN budget for 2018-19, on top of $200 million in savings already proposed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres some weeks ago.
Guterres has proposed capping the UN biennial budget at $5.4 billion, shaving off $200 million from the 2016-17 budget.
The U.S. pays about 22 per cent of the U.N.’s budget, or roughly $3.3 billion, and fully 28 per cent of its peacekeeping effort.
The U.N.’s operating budget is separate from its peacekeeping budget, which was cut by $600 million this year, under pressure from President Donald Trump, AFP reported.
Trump last week threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that voted in favour of a draft UN resolution calling for the U.S. to withdraw its decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The final tally was 128-9, with 35 nations abstaining, including five members of the European Union.