The U.S. State Department has released a report on the voting behavior of other countries at the United Nations — and has identified the top ten best and worst countries in terms of voting for or against the U.S., respectively.
The April 26 report, “Voting Practices in the United Nations 2017,” was prepared after the Trump administration made clear it would consider cutting aid to countries that voted against the U.S. in UN institutions. That warning came after the UN General Assembly voted 128 to 9 (with 35 abstentions) last December to oppose President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the capital city of Jerusalem.
“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” the president said. His warning was reiterated by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who said after the vote: “We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations and we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”
The report on UN votes is prepared annually, but has additional significance this year due to those warnings.
In 2017, the best U.S. ally at the UN was Israel, and the worst U.S. enemy at the UN was Zimbabwe.
The report also notes the best ten: “The 10 countries with the highest voting coincidence with the United States were, in descending order: Israel, Micronesia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Palau, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic.”
It also notes the worst ten: The 10 countries with the lowest voting coincidence with the United States were, in ascending order: Zimbabwe, Burundi, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Cuba, Bolivia, and South Africa.”
According to the USAID website, the latter countries received the following amounts of U.S. aid, across all agencies, in fiscal year 2016 (the last year for which full records are available, rounded to the nearest million):
- Zimbabwe: $261 million
- Burundi: $75 million
- Iran: $3 million
- Syria: $916 million
- Venezuela: $9 million
- North Korea: $0
- Turkmenistan: $3 million
- Cuba: $16 million
- Bolivia: $1 million
- South Africa: $597 million
The total was close to $2 billion.
Haley said last week, upon release of the report: “[T]his is not an acceptable return on our investment. When we arrived at the UN last year, we said we would be taking names, and this list of voting records speaks for itself. President Trump wants to ensure that our foreign assistance dollars – the most generous in the world – always serve American interests, and we look forward to helping him see that the American people are no longer taken for granted.”
Of the ten countries voting least often with the U.S., South Africa may already be feeling the consequences.
On Monday, South Africa learned that the U.S. would not be exempting it from new steel tariffs. The South African government released a statement in protest against the U.S. decision: “South Africa is concerned by the unfairness of the measures and that it is one of the countries that are singled out as a contributor to US national security concerns when its exports of aluminium and steel products are not that significant.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.