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US envoy Nikki Haley announces $285m cut to UN funding following its vote against Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel capital

US envoy Nikki Haley announces $285m cut to UN funding following its vote against Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel capital

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations said on Sunday that the U.N.’s 2018-2019 budget would be slashed by over $285 million; however, the announcement didn’t make clear the entire amount of the budget or specify what effect the cut would have on the U.S. contribution.

The U.S. government says it has negotiated a significant cut in the United Nations budget and reductions would also be made to the U.N.’s management and support functions.

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said that the ‘inefficiency and overspending’ of the organization is well-known, and she would not let ‘the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of.’

She also said that while the mission was pleased with the results of budget negotiations, it would continue to ‘look at ways to increase the U.N.’s efficiency… while protecting our interests.’

The requested budget cuts come off the heels of the UN General Assembly voting to reject the Trump administration recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this month.

After announcing his decision on December 6, Trump signed a six-month waiver that delays the relocation of the American embassy currently in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

On December 21, just hours before the vote, Haley warned that America’s financial commitment to UN would be significantly reduced if the international body contested the Trump administration’s decision.

‘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,’ Haley told member nations ahead of their vote.

‘We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the UN and we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit,’ Haley said.

The General Assembly nevertheless voted 128 to 9 in favor of a non-binding resolution to declare Trump’s move ‘null and void.’  

The resolution, sponsored by Yemen and Turkey, reaffirmed what has been the United Nations’ stand on the divided holy city since 1967 – that Jerusalem’s final status must be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Guatemala, one of nine nations that voted against the UN’s resolution on Jerusalem has announced plans that it would follow America’s lead to move its embassy in Israel, currently situated in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem on Sunday.

The President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, said he made the decision after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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