US Seeking More Power by Pushing for UN Reforms

US Seeking More Power by Pushing for UN ReformsUS Seeking More Power by Pushing for UN Reforms

The United States' intention of bringing about reforms in the United Nations is only a pretext under which it tries to have greater say in international affairs, lawmakers said.

In a recent talk with ICANA, Mohammad Ali Pourmokhtar said, "The US is looking to advance its own interests [by pushing for reforms] and since the UN holds great capacities, the US wants to use this potential to its own advantage."

US President Donald Trump criticized the United Nations for having a bloated bureaucracy and mismanagement on his first visit to the UN headquarters last week, calling for "truly bold reforms" so it could be a greater force for world peace.

Businessman-turned-politician Trump, who complained during his 2016 election campaign about the US paying a disproportionate amount of money to the world body, made the point again on Sept. 18.

"We must ensure that no one and no member state shoulders a disproportionate share of the burden and that's militarily or financially," he said.

The United States is the biggest UN contributor, providing 22% of its $5.4 billion biennial core budget and 28.5% of its $7.3 billion peacekeeping budget. The contributions are agreed on by the 193-member General Assembly.

  Need to End Discrimination    

Questioning the notion of reforms proposed by Trump, Pourmokhtar said, "If countries decide that the UN really needs reforms, first its headquarters should be relocated from the US and its budget dependency on the US must be cut. That would be really effective reforms."

Lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh pointed to the opposition of some countries to reforms proposed by the US, saying that "non-permanent countries of the UN [Security Council] do not agree with the prerogative given to specific veto-wielding states, while countries like Germany and Brazil also want to have veto power."

"So many countries, like Iran, believe that these discriminatory conditions must be first abolished," he said.

He said the real intention behind the reforms plan is to cut the UN budget shouldered by the US, adding that even world powers have not supported the initiative. The UN Security Council's veto powers Russia and China also did not sign the declaration of the proposed reforms.

Falahatpisheh said the US is only looking for ways to more easily obtain UN permissions for its foreign mandates, especially in case of triggering war against other nations. The United States is reviewing each of the UN peacekeeping missions as annual mandates come up for the Security Council renewal to slash costs. The United States is a veto-wielding council member, along with Britain, France, Russia and China.

Last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

When asked if the UN refugee agency could perform its current missions if the US cut its voluntary contributions to the budget, Grandi said, "I would say no. US aid is vital to what we do to support refugees around the world and to find solutions to their situations."



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