Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, prepares to speak on the floor of the General Assembly on December 21, 2017 in New York City.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley praised the reduction in US contributions to the UN, calling it a "big step in the right direction."
The United States contribution will be reduced by $285 million from that of the last two years, according to a statement from the United States Mission to the United Nations released on Sunday.
“The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known. We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked," Haley said.
"This historic reduction in spending – in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable UN – is a big step in the right direction. While we are pleased with the results of this year’s budget negotiations, you can be sure we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency while protecting our interests," she added.
US President Trump threatens countries voting against the US, December 20, 2017 (Reuters)
The budget announcement comes days after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid
to UN member states voting to condemn his decision to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the disputed holy city as the capital of Israel.
The vote on December 21
did not favor the United States; the measure condemning the decision passed by a vote of 128 to 9, with 35 abstaining and 21 countries not participating in the vote.
Haley: US will "remember" this day of being "singled out" for US Jerusalem announcement (Reuters)
The United States is the largest contributor to the United Nations, paying 22% of the organization's annual budget.
Although tensions between the US and the UN have risen following Trump's Jerusalem announcement on December 6, the Trump administration was already discussing slashes to the budget earlier this year. Nikki Haley voiced concerns during her confirmation hearing in January, asking if the United States is "getting what we pay for" from the UN.
Donald Trump, in his September speech to the United Nations, stated that "the United States bears an unfair cost burden," in the organization. "But to be fair," he added, "If it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it."