Despite $285 Million Cut, U.S. Still Pumping Billions into Bloated U.N. Bureaucracy

Nikki Haley UN
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Trump administration declared victory Sunday when it announced that it had secured a $285 million cut to the U.N. budget for 2018-9 — but even with that cut  the U.S remains far-and-away the top contributor to the bloated international organization.

“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,” U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement Sunday.

Haley, while hailing a “historic” reduction in spending, admitted that it was only a step “in the right direction,” and promised to continue to look at ways to increase the efficiency of the U.N.

It is far from clear to what extent, if at all, the budget cut will affect the U.S. contribution — although as the largest financial contributor to the U.N. it would presumably be decreased.

There is a long way to go. The U.S. two-year contribution for 2016-7 was approximately $1.2 billion of the total $5.5 billion budget. Even if the U.S. was to receive the majority of that reduction, it would still only be a shaving off the U.S. contribution.

The reason for the U.S. contribution being so high is that the contribution is calculated from a country’s contribution to global GDP. The U.S., therefore, contributes approximately 22 percent of the total budget, due to its economy making up 25 percent of global GDP.

This does not include the approximately $5 billion over two years the U.S. contributes to U.N. peacekeeping missions, as well as other agencies. Foreign Policy reports that the U.S. pumps approximately $10 billion a year into the U.N. altogether.

The accompanying Axios graph shows just how much more significant the U.S. contribution is compared to other top nations.

In terms of America’s allies, U.N. numbers for 2016 and 2017 show that the United Kingdom’s net contribution to the U.N.’s regular budget was $222 million, France’s was $241 million, while Canada’s was just $147 million.

One outlier is China, whose contribution makes up only approximately eight percent of the U.N.’s budget ($393 million), despite its economy making up 15 percent of global GDP. Among Asian nations, China was outspent by Japan — which contributed $481 million to the U.N. budget.

Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.


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