Yesterday, the US Mission to the United Nations released a short message:
Today, the United Nations agreed on a budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Among a host of other successes, the United States negotiated a reduction of over $285 million off the 2016-2017 final budget. In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key U.S. priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system.
“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. 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,” said Ambassador Haley.
To be clear, this is not a $285 million reduction in the US budget, but in the UN budget and it comes on top of a $200 million cut from the budget this year and $600 million cut from the obscenely bloated UN peacekeeping budget.
This is not a huge deal, per se. The US contribution to the UN will still be north of $3 billion, money that could be better spent on good bourbon and hookers. But this with other actions is signalling a sea change in the way the US deals with the UN. For far, far too long we’ve gone along with a “first among equals” philosophy that put the kleptocrats and various genocidal psychopaths that constitute a clear majority of the General Assembly on the same moral plane as the United States. We listened politely as North Korea and Venezuela and China lectured us on human rights and told us how to manage our affairs while we bankrolled a bureaucracy that is hostile to American and Western interests. The willingness of the Trump administration to call bullsh** on this nonsense is a welcome departure from the past norm.