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United States Announces $285M Cut in U.N. 2018 Operating Budget

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image U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made the historic budget cut announcement on Sunday. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Ambassador Nikki Haley vowed to "no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of."

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced on Sunday a $285 million cut to the U.N. budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The historic budget cut comes just days after 120 nations condemned President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Haley accused the U.N. of budgetary excess when making the announcement; while she did not make it clear if all the reductions would come from the U.S., she didn't mention any other nations. The U.N. has an overall $5.4-billion biennial budget, of which the U.S. funds about 22 percent, according to Newsweek. Each member nation is required to make a contribution, but the contributions vary based on factors such as population and gross national income.

"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, Fox News reported. "This historic reduction in spending — in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable U.N. — is a big step in the right direction."

These budget cuts may not be the end for the U.N. under Trump's administration. The president's proposed spending budget for 2018 would end funding for U.N. climate change programs and reduce funding for the U.N. Children's Fund — UNICEF — by 16 percent.

Trump has long spoken about making budget cuts to the U.N. and his latest Jerusalem controversy has only heightened tensions. Haley hinted the lack of support of the administration's decision to recognize the Holy City as Israel's capital could serve as further motivation to make cuts. She also said the U.S. would be "taking names" of those who voted in opposition of America's decision to move its embassy to the city.

"The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out in this assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation," said Haley ahead of the vote on Dec. 21. "We will remember it when, once again, we are called up to make the world's largest contribution to the U.N., and we will remember it when many countries come calling on us to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit."


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