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UN cuts its peacekeeping budget by $600 million
The UN General Assembly voted Friday to cut the organization's nearly $800 billion annual peacekeeping budget by $600 million.
By Tracy Williams
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — The UN General Assembly voted Friday to cut the organization's nearly $800 billion annual peacekeeping budget by $600 million. The move comes amid some pressure from the Trump administration, but also from the UN's own secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, who has called for major reforms to peacekeeping and other UN functions since taking office on January 1.
The United States had been pushing for a $1 billion cut. U.S. funds account for 28.5% of the peacekeeping budget, and a cut this big would have brought the U.S. share down to 10%. Instead, the U.S. share falls to around 21%.
"Just five months into our time here, we've already been able to cut over half a billion dollars from the U.N. peacekeeping budget and we're only getting started," Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted shortly before Friday's vote.
UN peacekeeping pays for more than 110,000 troops, police, and civilian professionals deployed in 16 missions throughout the developing world. Their efforts include many successful humanitarian interventions in the wake of natural and manmade disasters, but they have also endured heavy criticism in recent years for ethical lapses by personnel.
In Haiti, for example, UN peacekeepers were blamed for transmitting cholera to the island and causing thousands of Haitians to get sick or die. And in parts of Africa, UN peacekeepers have been found guilty of rapes and other sexual abuses of women and girls in their care.
Some UN missions will see reduced operations following the cuts. They include UN operations in Sudan's Darfur region and in Haiti. A few missions will see increased resources, however, such as Mali, where UN peacekeepers are supporting antiterrorism efforts.