Trump's planned UN cuts to reportedly harm Palestinian Authority
In a report by the New York Times, US President Donald Trump's administration is said to be working on executive orders that would drastically cut US funding to the UN and any organization 'that sponsors terrorism'; the orders also state that US will cut all funding to any organization that grants full membership to the Palestinian Authority or PLO.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that according to officials, the newly elected US President Donald Trump has his administration working on executive orders that would cut all funding to any organization that grants full membership to the Palestinian Authority, dramatically cut down on US's role in the United Nations and other international organizations and begin to review and potentially do away with certain multilateral treaties.
A draft order titled “Auditing and Reducing US Funding of International Organizations” and obtained by The New York Times cites ending 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 goes around 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.
In addition, the order calls for carrying out “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” in any remaining United States funding toward international organizations.
The United States provides about a quarter of all funding to United Nations peacekeeping operations, of which there are more than a dozen, in Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. At least one of these, the operation in southern Lebanon, directly serves Israeli interests by protecting the country’s northern border, though the draft order characterizes the funding cuts as serving Israeli interests.
An explanation accompanying the draft order mentions two United Nations treaties for review: the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The order establishes a committee to recommend where those funding cuts should be made. It asks the committee to look specifically at United States funding for peacekeeping operations; the International Criminal Court; development aid to countries that “oppose important United States policies”; and the United Nations Population Fund, a program that oversees maternal and reproductive health programs.
If Trump goes ahead and signs the order and its provisions are carried out, the cuts could severely curb the work of United Nations agencies, which rely on billions of dollars in annual US contributions for missions that include caring for refugees.
The second executive order, titled, “Moratorium on New Multilateral Treaties,” calls for a review of all current and pending treaties with more than one other nation. It also asks for recommendations on which negotiations or treaties the United States should leave.
The order says this review applies only to multilateral treaties that are not “directly related to national security, extradition or international trade,” but it is unclear what treaties would fall outside these restrictions.
The draft orders—each of them only a few pages—leave several unanswered questions. For example, it is unclear whether they call for cutting 40 percent of United States contributions to each international agency separately, or to the overall federal funding budget.