Haley: "we've cut over half a billion $$$ from the UN peacekeeping budget "
In March the White House instructed the State Department to cut their budgets for UN programs nearly in half
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley cheered cuts to the UN’s peacekeeping budget Wednesday, adding that “we’re only getting started.”
“Just 5 months into our time here, we’ve cut over half a billion $$$ from the UN peacekeeping budget & we’re only getting started,” Haley tweeted.
The UN struck a deal on Wednesday that cuts $600 million from the annual peacekeeping budget of more than $7.5 billion–slicing 7.5 percent off America’s bill, Reuters reported. Initially the US had proposed more budget slashing, which would have dropped its contributions by more than 10 percent.
In March, the White House instructed the State Department and the US mission to the United Nations to cut their budgets for UN programs nearly in half, including US peacekeeping and development assistance, two senior US officials told CNN at the time.
The proposed cuts reflected a desire by the Trump administration to reduce US commitments to international organizations. Since the former South Carolina governor was appointed to the Cabinet-level diplomatic post by President Donald Trump, Haley has, in conjunction with other countries, overseen major cuts from the UN peacekeeping efforts.
In just her first week as US ambassador, Haley made reform of the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations a top priority. The program, which last fiscal year cost almost $8 billion, was something Haley said needed to be looked at and reconsidered during her Senate confirmation hearing. Under former President Barack Obama, the US paid for about 30% of the UN’s peacekeeping budget. China was the second highest contributor paying just over 10%.
At her confirmation hearing, Haley stressed that the UN needed to look at whether countries were simply sending their forces to missions “just to make money” because the United Nations pays for peacekeepers.
“The last thing we want is for UN peacekeepers to go into a country and for people to be scared and for people to be vulnerable,” Haley told a Senate committee.
The peacekeeping department – which has been rocked by sex abuse cases and often unending missions – was a clear target for slashing. But the UN said in May that the US’s cuts would make continuing its work “impossible.”
“The figures presented would simply make it impossible for the UN to continue all of its essential work advancing peace, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in a statement.
CNN’s Richard Roth and Elise Labott contributed to this report