Calling it “a big step in the right direction,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Sunday night announced a historic reduction in the U.N. biennial operating budget.
Haley said the plan calls for a $285 million cut for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
“The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known,” Haley said. “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked.”
She added, “This historic reduction in spending – in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable U.N. – is a big step in the right direction.”
The U.N. budget now covers a two-year period, beginning in January of an even-numbered year.
The United States was seeking a $250 million cut to the U.N. budget for 2018-19, on top of $200 million in savings already proposed by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Agence France-Presse reported two weeks ago.
Guterres has proposed capping the U.N. biennial budget at $5.4 billion, shaving off $200 million from the 2016-17 budget.
The U.S. pays about 22 percent of the U.N.’s budget, or roughly $3.3 billion, and fully 28 percent of its peacekeeping effort.
The U.N.’s operating budget is separate from its peacekeeping budget, which was cut by $600 million this year, under pressure from President Donald Trump, AFP reported.
Trump last week threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that voted in favor of a draft U.N. resolution calling for the U.S. to withdraw its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The final tally was 128-9, with 35 nations abstaining, including five members of the European Union.