'We won't let UN take advantage of our generosity'

After clashing with US over Jerusalem recognition, UN agrees to slash core budget.

David Rosenberg,

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley

The United Nations agreed Sunday night to a request by the United States to cut the organization’s biannual budget by more than $285 million.

In a press release issued Sunday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had agreed to a biannual budget for 2018-2019 smaller than his initial $5.4 billion budget proposal.

The new budget of $5.396 is below the $5.4 billion Guterres had pushed for, which itself was $200 million less than the previous UN budget.

In a written statement, Haley hailed the budget cut and declared that the US would no longer allow the UN to ‘take advantage’ of America’s generosity.

“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 Haley.

The US pays for 22% of the UN’s core budget – more than the second and third largest funders (Japan and China) combined.

The budget cut comes just days after the UN General Assembly denounced President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and plans to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem.

Before the vote last Thursday, President Donald Trump warned General Assembly member-states which receive American aid that the US would be “watching” which countries vote with the US, and which vote against it on the resolution.

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” he told reporters before the Cabinet meeting, according to Reuters.

In June, the UN cut its annual peacekeeping budget of close to $8 billion by nearly 8%, or roughly $600 million, following pressure from the Trump administration.