President prepares executive orders to cut U.S. funding of global body
Published: 17 hours ago
Two executive orders currently being prepared by the Trump administration promise to reduce the U.S. role in the United Nations by dramatically cutting funding and potentially abrogating certain multilateral treaties.
The first draft order released Wednesday – titled “Auditing and Reducing U.S. Funding of International Organizations” – lays out criteria for cutting off total funding to certain U.N. agencies and other international bodies, reported the New York Times.
Those seeing their access to U.S. tax dollars terminated include groups giving full membership to the Palestinian Authority or the Palestine Liberation Organization, organizations that fund abortion or are involved in activities that violate sanctions against North Korea or Iran. Any group “controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism” or carries out persecution of marginalized groups is also covered.
In addition to terminating U.S. funding of agencies meeting these criteria, the Trump order calls for “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” in financial support for international organizations.
U.S. funding currently makes up 22 percent of the U.N.’s annual operating budget and close to 30 percent of the much larger peacekeeping budget – a $3 billion hit on U.S. taxpayers. That far exceeds the combined $2.5 billion paid by China, Russia, Britain and France – the other four permanent Security Council members. Indeed, the U.S. contributes more than 185 countries combined.
The second order, titled “Moratorium on New Multilateral Treaties,” calls for evaluation of all current and pending treaties between the U.S. and more than one nation to identify those from which the U.S. should withdraw. Treaties “directly related to national security, extradition or international trade” are exempt from review.
Two U.N. treaties were explicitly mentioned in a White House release: the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Previously, Trump has criticized the Paris climate agreement, but since it includes trade language, it’s unclear if the present order covers it.
As WND reported this week, Congress is considering a plan that would accomplish several anti-U.N. objectives: remove the U.S. from the U.N., ban any continued financial support, bar American military members from serving under U.N. command and remove the diplomatic immunity of U.N. officials.
The bill is the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2016, H.R. 193, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala.
According to the congressional description, it would repeal “the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and other specified related laws.”
“The bill requires: (1) the president to terminate U.S. membership in the United Nations (U.N.), including any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body; and (2) closure of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations,” it explains.
“The bill prohibits: (1) the authorization of funds for the U.S. assessed or voluntary contribution to the U.N., (2) the authorization of funds for any U.S. contribution to any U.N. military or peacekeeping operation, (3) the expenditure of funds to support the participation of U.S. Armed Forces as part of any U.N. military or peacekeeping operation, (4) U.S. Armed Forces from serving under U.N. command, and (5) diplomatic immunity for U.N. officers or employees.”
WND has reported on the call for the U.S. to defund — and even exit — the U.N. by political, religious and other influential leaders from both the left and the right.
The calls for defunding began when the Obama administration refused to use its veto power to block the U.N. Security Council’s Dec. 24 resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Rick Santorum, who served in the Senate the last time the U.S. refused to pay its dues in full, told the Washington Post the crisis in U.S.-U.N. relations brought about by the Obama administration’s betrayal of Israel was the perfect opportunity to dismantle the U.N. completely.
“This has opened up the opportunity for those of us who are very anti-U.N., who think the it has passed its prime, it’s not serving any really good purpose, it’s not helping legitimate governments around the world and it’s outlived its usefulness,” he said. “To the extent we can deconstruct it, the better.”
David Greenfield at FrontPage Magazine pointed out that for its money, the U.S. gets a U.N. email system that was “used to distribute child pornography … U.N. staff members have smuggled drugs, attacked each other with knives and pool cues, not to mention a tractor.”
Defunding is “something that we and every sane country should have done decades ago,” he wrote.
“If you give money to the U.N., it will end up anywhere and everywhere except where it’s supposed to go. But defunding the U.N. isn’t enough. There is no reason for us to remain there at all.”
He finished: “We should defund and withdraw. … The billions we waste on the U.N. will go toward taking care of our people. And once we are free of the U.N., we will actually be able to promote real human rights instead of pandering to the dictators and Islamists of the United Nations.”