Haley announces $285 million reduction to 2018-19 UN general operating budget
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Haley announces $285 million reduction to 2018-19 UN general operating budget

December 26, 2017

The Raw Data

Unspun and unbiased. These are the facts.

On Sunday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the organization had agreed on a two-year, $5.4 billion operating budget for 2018-2019. The budget was reduced by $285 million, or about 5 percent from the final 2016-2017 budget. The U.N. operating budget is separate from a peacekeeping budget that was reduced in June by $600 million to $6.8 billion for 2017-2018.

Agence France-Presse reported two weeks ago that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had proposed a $200 million reduction from the 2016-2017 operating budget, and the U.S. proposed an additional $250 million decrease. Haley’s office, the United States Mission, said the negotiated total decrease of $285 million was the result of reductions in travel expenses, consultant fees and the leasing of space outside the U.N. building in New York.

The 193 member countries of the U.N. are required to contribute to its budget amounts determined by a formula that factors each country’s population and gross national income. For 2016-2017, the U.S. paid about $1.2 billion, or 22 percent of the U.N.’s $5.4 billion annual operating budget. The U.S. contributed approximately $2 billion, or about 28 percent of the peacekeeping budget this year.

Haley’s office released a statement saying the reduction in spending combined with “moves towards a more efficient and accountable U.N.” was a “big step in the right direction.” The statement added, “we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the U.N.’s efficiency while protecting our interests.”

On Dec. 6, President Donald Trump said the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and prepare to move the U.S. embassy there. Last week, the U.N. General Assembly voted 128-9 to “demand” that Jerusalem’s status remain unchanged; 35 nations abstained.

Before the vote, Haley said the U.S. “will remember this day in which it was singled out in this assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” adding it would remember this day when the U.S. is “called upon” to “make the world’s largest contribution” to the U.N. Haley’s office did not mention the vote in its announcement of the U.N. budget reduction.