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Report: Trump Considers Proposals for Cutting U.N. Funding

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The New York Times reports President Trump is looking at proposals for reducing U.S. funding for the United Nations and scaling back U.N. influence over American foreign policy.

The first of the two draft orders, titled “Auditing and Reducing U.S. Funding of International Organizations” and obtained by The New York Times, calls for terminating funding for any United Nations agency or other international body that meets any one of several criteria.

Those criteria include organizations that give full membership to the Palestinian Authority or Palestine Liberation Organization, or support programs that fund abortion or any activity that circumvents sanctions against Iran or North Korea. The draft order also calls for terminating funding for any organization that “is controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism” or is blamed for the persecution of marginalized groups or any other systematic violation of human rights.

The order calls for then enacting “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” in remaining United States funding toward international organizations.

Those funding cuts would most likely come from peacekeeping operations, the International Criminal Court, the United Nations Population Fund, and developmental aid for countries opposed to “important United States policies,” according to the NYT’s description of the draft order.

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The second draft order discussed by the Times would impose a moratorium on new multilateral treaties, as well as a review of all current and pending treaties which are not “directly related to national security, extradition or international trade.”

Two specific examples are provided of treaties that would be reviewed under this policy: the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The New York Times points out a few apparent flaws in the draft orders, including calls to terminate funding to some organizations the United States does not currently fund.

The UK Telegraph further notes the United States is not currently a signatory to either of the conventions that were given as examples of multilateral treaties that would be subject to review.

The UK Guardian writes that U.S. allies “have reacted with a mix of alarm and skepticism” to reports of the draft orders, although only two actual “senior European diplomats” are quoted in the piece, both of them anonymously.

The first of theses sources told the Guardian, “it would potentially be brutal but as with all these executive orders we have to wait to see what happens in practice,” which does indeed sound like a mixture of alarm and skepticism.

The second senior European diplomat accused Trump’s inner circle of “signaling to his supporters that he would fulfill his election pledges of radical action,” but said Cabinet members such as Defense Secretary James Mattis and likely Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would compel a “pivot to the mainstream.”


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