Trump Administration Holds Off on Issuing U.N. Funding Order

By MAX FISHER, NYT

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is delaying its plans to issue two executive orders that would reduce funding to the United Nations and begin a process to review and potentially cancel certain multilateral treaties, according to current and former officials briefed on the matter.

Both draft orders were submitted to the National Security Council for approval, but the council’s advisers were granted less than an hour and a half to review them, though this process normally takes weeks. Federal agencies were granted similarly brief windows for review.

Federal officials that were asked to review the documents balked at their contents, warning they required legal vetting.

The draft orders are now being withheld for a more complete review by a number of agencies, including the State Department, which is expected to begin as early as next week.

The draft order on the United Nations funding, according to copies acquired by The New York Times, called for “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” in contributions by the United States to the world body and its agencies. Much of this funding currently goes to international peacekeeping operations and other core United Nations missions. The draft order would have allowed for similar cuts to other international organizations, but it did not name them.

Some provisions in the draft order were either unclear or redundant. For example, one suggested considering cuts in funding toward the International Criminal Court, but the United States does not recognize that body or make contributions to it. Another called for the termination of funding for any United Nations agency that grants full membership to a Palestinian representative, which is already United States law.

Nikki R. Haley, the new American ambassador to the United Nations, said in comments at the United Nations headquarters on Friday, “You’re going to see a change in the way we do business.”

Ms. Haley added, “For those who don’t have our backs, we’re taking names.”

President Trump expressed antipathy toward the United Nations during the campaign.

A second draft order called for establishing a process to review whether some multilateral treaties should be annulled, including current and pending treaties. The order’s text excluded treaties “directly related” to extradition, trade or national security, though it is unclear which treaties would have qualified.

Experts said that permission for the reviews of treaties related to the environment — such as the Paris climate agreement — or to human rights also appeared to be intended in the draft order.

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11 Comments / 11 Comments

  1. bernard ross

    UNESCO should be defunded for its vote on the Temple Mount… a ludicrous org totally politicized and corrupt. The UN should be parred down to its original non political purpose of seeking to mediate peace. It is now just a bloated corrupt feeding trough for corrupt diplomats and parasites. a complete and immoral waste of money

  2. Birdalone

    The delay is likely to give UN Amb Nikki Haley the weekend to use her accounting skills to find out where US funding to the UN is actually going. She started work there on Friday, and no one else at State has been confirmed.

    The NYT is spinning the new myth that T45’s EOs lack legal, and ‘appropriate’ technocratic review. Vanity Fair’s HIVE website is accusing T45 of issuing EOs without ‘proper’ legal review.

    @ bernard ross:

    USA law has kept USA from direct funding of UNESCO since palestine was admitted in 2011. O44 tried to restore funding, but, as of Oct 2016, had failed.

    Best sources, read in sequence:
    Nov 12, 2013:
    http://www.ibtimes.com/how-us-lost-unesco-voting-rights-why-its-big-deal-1465392

    Oct. 24, 2016:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/24/americas-missed-unesco-opportunity/

  3. Sebastien Zorn

    @ Birdalone:
    The ubiquitous use of acronyms and abbreviations makes it difficult for newcomers like me to have any idea of what you are talking about. What is T45? What is HIVE? What Is EQ? I know what MSM is now.

  4. SHmuel HaLevi

    There is determination and rigid intent at the top of the Administration. RINO’s are making the wrong moves to slow down the process. They will fail again. The President will prevail and will do as planned.
    Within next week many more open loops will be closed.
    The free for all immigration games of Hussein are over with.
    Mexico has very little choice other than to also fall in line.

  5. Marsha Roseman

    As a Pro Israel American Jew I am so very happy for President Trump. We have a home run hitter. He will occasionally strike out. But I look forward to lots of home runs. It sickened me to see the applause in the Security Council over the resolution. A pox on all of the UN. Every penny not spent on them is a penny saved. Let Jared turn the building into affordable housing.

  6. mar55

    @ bernard ross:
    Excellent comment. Short and to the point.

    UNRWA- United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine.
    They get funded from different nations and the UN themselves.

    What can be done to cut off these criminals income who use the world’s contributions to indoctrinate children with hate and lies?
    Can we defund them also?

  7. stevenl

    Trump must convince other countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem!

  8. SHmuel HaLevi

    @ stevenl:
    I see no practical reason to spend time chasing after anyone. Those that do not wish to move their embassies to the Capital may stay where they are. As consulates or representations. Embassy privileges shall be afforded to those countries having their embassies in Jerusalem. Only.

  9. Sebastien Zorn

    @ SHmuel HaLevi:
    If an embassy is downgraded to a consulate and there is no embassy, does it make any difference in practice?

  10. SHmuel HaLevi

    Depends on the functional agreements. Generally a General Consul is not equated to an Ambassador.

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