The United States again threatens to cut funding for the most important international organization - the UN. The rhetoric of the representative of Washington sounds extremely aggressive: "we will no longer allow the generosity of the American people and maintain uncontrolled spending." But is it really so?
The US Permanent Representative to the UN, Nikki Haley, named the reasons for the reduction of the UN budget. "Inefficiency and cost overruns are well known. We will no longer be allowed to use the generosity of the American people and maintain uncontrolled spending, "the representative of the United States said.
It is announced that the United States will seek more transparent and economical work of the UN. Washington has already achieved a reduction in the current budget of 2016-2017 by 285 million dollars, she said.
However, it is still difficult to see any reduction. The final document adopted by the UN General Assembly states: the organization's budget for 2018-2019 will be 5,39 billion dollars. And initially the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated the need for more than 5,4 billion dollars. The amount, as you can see, is not fundamentally different.
Contributions to the budget of the organization make 193 a member country of the UN. The amount of payment is based on the average GDP and per capita income, but it can not exceed 22% of the total budget. The largest contribution is made by the United States, it is 22% of the UN budget. A significant share is added by Japan and China - 9,6% and 7,9%, respectively. The contribution of Russia covers only 3% of the UN budget.
"Generosity" remains serious
The United States is ready to save on the activities of the UN, but not on its foreign policy activity. Although Donald Trump, being a presidential candidate, promised to curtail this kind of activity - from the costs of maintaining NATO for all kinds of support for friendly regimes, in fact, the "generosity of the American people" does not decrease. Confirmation of this can serve, for example, the US defense budget for the 2018 fiscal year, signed by Trump 12 December. It also includes the provision of assistance to Ukraine in the amount of 350 million dollars.
The Trump administration did offer more than 30% cut funding for the Department of State budget and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as to curtail a number of expensive foreign policy projects. "Generosity of the American people" was supposed to be limited to an amount of 37,6 billion dollars. But instead of the expected reduction in September, the Senate insisted on increasing this amount to 51,2 billion dollars (this is only 2 billion less than in the previous budget).
Washington's unflagging readiness to stormy foreign policy activity is evidenced by the recent drawing of Russian Prankers Vovan and Lexus, who phoned Hailey on behalf of Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Moravetsky. In this joke was just a joke. The Prankers told Haley that in the fictional country of Binomo, "somewhere near Vietnam, in the south of China," a vote was taken to proclaim independence, and Russia intervened in this campaign.
The US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, who accepted the "call of the Polish Prime Minister" and the story of the faraway country of Binomo at face value, assured: Washington is aware of Moscow's situation and interference and "very closely" is watching the situation. Earlier, recall, the California congressman Maxine Waters assured "Prime Minister of Ukraine Vladimir Groisman" (and in fact - the same Vovan and Lexus) in the readiness to protect the country of Limpopo from attacks by Russian hackers. Support for democracy in Limpopo and Binomo has so far only been verbal - as well as ending the "generous" spending on the UN.
It is important to demonstrate a "principled position"
Calls for a reduction in UN funding are "a well-known position of the United States," the chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy Fyodor Lukyanov told the newspaper VIEW. "Very loud" this was announced even under the previous Republican President George W. Bush. Already at that time they said that it was necessary "to understand the appropriateness of financing the UN, which is a huge bureaucracy, ineffective, and even politically, does not always correspond to the US's ideas of beauty," the expert said.
The US Congress has long had "strong sentiments that this is a senseless waste of the American taxpayer's money," Lukyanov said. There were even periods when the Americans did not officially cut back, but delayed payments.
Now the cuts are also of a small character. This suggests that "the US administration needs to demonstrate its position," especially since Trump spoke about this both during the election campaign and after the election. He does not really like international organizations at all, the political scientist reminded. To the United Nations, the US approach is known: "if it serves the purposes of the US, it means that it can be financed, if not serving, then it is not necessary," he stressed.
However, there will not be any radical cuts from the US, Lukyanov believes. Instead, the US will regularly "emphasize and remind that the UN is an office that lives at someone else's expense and should not be particularly active," the political scientist said.
"Until Congress gives money to Trump ..."
Trump partially fulfilled his promise - he "significantly reduced the funding of the US State Department. Almost one-third, "remarked Alexander Domrin, an American political analyst and professor at the Higher School of Economics, in a commentary to the newspaper VZGLYAD.
"On foreign policy and diplomacy, which is really in the person of the State Department too healed, Trump really cuts costs. For example, the United States stopped financing UNESCO and other international structures, "the expert added.
"Of course, if there are agreements between the White House and the administration of Poroshenko on the financing of Ukraine, these agreements will be implemented. But, most importantly, the US Congress pays for it and Congress exerts pressure on Trump. And in this sense, the confrontation between the executive power in the person of Trump and the legislative power in the person of the Congress continues, "the expert explained. "What will end the confrontation - it's hard to say. But we need to understand that Trump's main achievement for this year is that he escaped impeachment, which everyone kept saying before his inauguration, "concluded the source.