Trump administration is prepping an executive order with drastic cuts to the U.N.
A correction has been appended to this story.
The Trump administration is preparing an executive order proposing dramatic cuts to the United Nations, according to a copy of the draft order seen by VICE News.
The order, still in draft form and subject to change, calls for a detailed, yearlong review of all U.S. funding to the U.N., and recommends a decrease in voluntary payments to the U.N. by “at least” 40 percent.
It also specifically calls for the end of any funding to an array of U.N.-affiliated organizations that meet a vague set of criteria, including any organization that includes the Palestinian Authority as a member, and any organization that supports or encourages abortions.
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. The New York Times also reported on the draft orders Wednesday.
The U.S. is the largest financial backer of U.N. operations, contributing 22 percent of the organization’s regular budget. The U.N. was formed in 1945 by 51 member states (there are now 193) in the wake of World War II with the stated aim of preventing another worldwide conflict. The U.S. is a founding member and one of five permanent member states in the international organization, along with China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
Few aspects of that funding are exempted from the order, but several elements of U.N. operations are singled out for more careful re-examination, including peacekeeping operations, the international criminal court, and any activity that is deemed to target the state of Israel.
News of Trump’s intentions to drastically defund the U.N. will likely find a receptive audience among an emboldened group of House Republicans, who earlier this month introduced the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017, a bill aimed at cutting U.S. ties with the international organization.
The U.N. has fallen under intense scrutiny from U.S. Republicans in recent years, for what they describe as the international organization’s anti-Israel bias.
During her confirmation hearings Tuesday, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said she would bring an “outsider’s” view to the international organization, and wouldn’t hesitate to cut funding from programs at odds with U.S. positions.
“Are we getting what we pay for?” Haley asked.
Trump has been a regular and vocal critic of the U.N., most recently lamenting what he saw as its lost potential and describing it as “just a club for people to get together, talk, and have a good time.”
CORRECTION (January 26, 10:30 a.m.): An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the details of the proposed 40 percent cut under President Trump’s draft executive order. The proposed cuts would affect voluntary contributions to the U.N., not all U.S. funding to the organization, which includes dues assessed by the U.N. for its regular or peacekeeping budgets.