Published: Thu, January 26, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Trump team ponders changes to USA commitment to United Nations


In addition to the cut in voluntary US donations, the order would set up criteria that could be used later to cut USA funding for worldwide organizations, including whether they accord full membership to the Palestine Liberation Organization or are "controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism".

The Trump administration is proposing a 40 percent reduction in voluntary USA support for the United Nations and other global bodies, and an end to "wasteful and counterproductive" spending that does not serve US interests, according to a draft of a forthcoming order.

The executive orders would also begin a process to review and potentially abrogate certain forms of multilateral treaties, the Times reported, citing unnamed officials.

The orders would call for "at least a 40 percent overall decrease" in aid to worldwide organizations - although funding levels for such groups are mandated through the congressional appropriations process.

Though still subject to change, the order is in keeping with a series of executive orders being rolled out by the Trump administration this week, including new restrictions on immigration and refugee resettlement.

Vice President Mike Pence administers the oath of office to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Jan. 25, 2017, in the Vice Presidential Ceremonial Office in the Eisenhower Executive Office building.

The New York Times on Wednesday said it had obtained two draft orders relating to potential action by President Donald Trump.

The Fox Business news website also reported Wednesday that the United Nations might be the Trump administration's next target.

Legislation in 1994 expanded on this language, barring Congress from funding "any affiliated organization of the United Nations which grants full membership as a state to any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood". Six Republican congressmen in early January sponsored a bill that would end USA membership in the United Nations altogether, the website reported, but that bill is not expected to win approval. The U.N. general budget for 2016-2017 is roughly $5.5 billion; for peacekeeping missions, about $8 billion.

The review panel is also told to examine whether or how US funding is used in support of United Nations resolutions that "single out" Israel.

Another draft order, the Times said, calls for review of multi-nation treaties, with recommendations on which ones the United States should leave.

During her confirmation hearings Tuesday, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said she would bring an "outsider's" view to the worldwide organization, and wouldn't hesitate to cut funding from programs at odds with U.S. positions.

Dujarric said UNFPA did not now think it would be directly affected by the order.

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