World Economy

US Avenges UN Decision, Secures Budget Cut

US Avenges UN Decision, Secures Budget Cut
US Avenges UN Decision, Secures Budget Cut

The United States on Sunday applauded a $285-million-cut in the UN core budget, saying it was “a big step in right direction”.

The UN General Assembly adopted a budget of $5.396 billion for 2018-2019, slightly below the $5.4 billion that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had sought, news outlets reported.

News of the leaner operations comes days after a widespread rebuke by UN member countries on President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to deem Beit-ul Moqaddas (Jerusalem) the capital of Israel. The General Assembly voted Thursday 128-9 to pass a resolution saying Trump’s declaration was “null and void”.

A day ahead of the Beit-ul Moqaddas vote, Trump said he’d be closely eyeing the outcome and turning off the spigot for nations voting against the resolution. “Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” the president said at the time.

Last week, Trump threatened to cut funding to countries that supported a UN resolution rejecting his decision to recognize Beit-ul Moqaddas as Israel’s capital.

Guatemala was one of nine nations that voted with the United States and Israel on Thursday when the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a nonbinding resolution denouncing Trump’s recognition of Beit-ul Moqaddas as Israel’s capital.

Trump upended decades of US policy with his Dec. 6 announcement that he was recognizing Beit-ul Moqaddas as Israel’s capital.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement that “inefficiency and overspending” at the world body were “well known”. Haley said the budget negotiations had generated several “successes” with financial cutbacks and a reduction of the UN’s “bloated management and support functions.”

“We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked,” she said. “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,” Alarabiya reported.

“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,” she added.

The UN’s operating budget is separate from its peacekeeping budget, which was cut by $600 million this year under pressure from the Trump administration.

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