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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

US to make $285m cut to UN budget after vote on Jerusalem

It comes days after a UN resolution condemning the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Donald Trump's government are cutting their UN budget contribution. AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Donald Trump's government are cutting their UN budget contribution. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

America has said it will cut at least $285m in its United Nations budget obligations in what is widely being seen as an attempt from US President Donald Trump to pressurise countries.

The cuts to the 2018-2018 budget were announced alongside a further cut to the UN’s management and support functions. The UN is responsible for 22% of the the body’s annual operating budget.

“We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of,” US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement, adding that she was pleased with the results of the negotiations.

Ms Haley said that she believes the “inefficiency and overspending” of the organisation is well-known and that the US Mission would continue to “look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency while protecting our interests”.

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The announcement comes days after the General Assembly voted 128-9 in favour of a resolution condemning the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Before the vote, Mr Trump had said at a publicised cabinet meeting: “Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care. But this isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars ... We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”

Under the UN charter, the US’s financial responsiblity equated to around $1.2bn in 2017-2018, and 28.5% of the cost of peacekeeping operations - working out an estimated at $6.8bn over the same period.

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