Trump slams US’s ‘unfair’ contribution to UN budget

19 Sep 17

The US’s 22% contribution to the United Nations’ budget is “unfair”, president Donald Trump told the UN General Assembly today.


Donald Trump at UN

Donald Trump said the US's contribution to UN funding was an "unfair" cost burden Photo: Getty

His speech built on comments made yesterday where Trump said bureaucracy and mismanagement were stopping the UN from reaching its full potential.

“The United Nations must hold every level of management accountable,” he said on Monday.

“I am confident that if we work together and champion truly bold reforms, the United Nations will emerge as a stronger, more effective, more just and greater force for peace and harmony in the world”.

Speaking today, the American president said that, if the UN achieves its Sustainable Development Goals then the US’s investment “could be well worth it”, adding that fellow world leaders attending the General Assembly debate could “solve these problems”.

He added that he hopes the UN can become a “much stronger advocate” for humanity around the world, stressing that no one should carry an “unfair share of the burden, militarily or financially”.

Currently, the US funds 22% ($5.4bn) of the UN’s regular budget and 28% ($8.27bn) of its peacekeeping budget.

In his address today, Trump said the UN could become stronger if all states worked together and “focus more on people, less on bureaucracy”. He said the US supports the UN reform vision.

One hundred and twenty eight countries pledged to support UN reform at the general assembly and to ‘put people first’.

Guterres said: “Our shared objective is a 21st century UN focused more on people and less on process, more on delivery and less on bureaucracy”.

He added that “value for money, while advancing shared values” was a common goal.

Earlier this year, Trump proposed cuts of about a third from US diplomacy and aid budgets, nearly $19bn. This would include some $1bn from UN peacekeeping funding.

A spokesman for UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said at the time such cuts: “would simply make it impossible for the UN to continue all of its essential work advancing peace, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance”.

In his speech today, the US president also addressed the issue of global conflict and called on member states to join him in defeating “the enemies of humanity” and “unlock the potential of life itself” by putting their own national interests first.

Trump said: “The success of the United Nations depends on the independent strength of its members.”

He added that, as American president, he will always “put America first”. While all countries have different goals and may not share the same cultures, the “beautiful vision of the [UN]” allows people to work side-by-side, he said.

Trump also said the “entire world” is threatened by the nuclear threat in North Korea and that he would have no choice “but to totally destroy” the country if it continues.

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