The Trump administration is slashing the United States’ contributions to the United Nations human rights office, according to National Security Advisor John Bolton.
As The Associated Press reported, Bolton made the announcement during an interview on Thursday.
He indicated that the U.S., which provides more U.N. funding than any other member nation, will no longer be supporting the Human Rights Council, an office of the U.N. that the Trump administration has already pulled out of, along with its Israeli allies.
Bolton said he would work with officials to determine how much of the nation’s U.N. budget goes toward the human rights office. That amount will be removed from future payments to the international body.
“We are going to de-fund the Human Rights Council,” Bolton said.
The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which includes the Human Rights Council, explains its purpose in benvolent terms.
“The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe,” the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website states.
In June, just before the United States left the council, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a decidedly different take:
“We have no doubt that there was once a noble vision for this council. But today, we need to be honest – the Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights,” he said, according to the State Department.
“Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy – with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored, and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself.”
President Donald Trump has previously shared his belief that America sends too much of its money to the U.N. Estimates show U.S. donations comprise about 22 percent of the U.N.’s budget.
During remarks to member-state representatives in September, Trump argued that the body needs to be reformed in order to accomplish its stated mission.
“The United Nations was founded on truly noble goals,” Trump said. “These include affirming the dignity and worth of the human person and striving for international peace. The United Nations has helped advance toward these goals in so many ways: feeding the hungry, providing disaster relief, and empowering women and girls in many societies all across the world.”
Trump blamed “bureaucracy and mismanagement” for what he described as the body’s inability to perform those tasks at its peak.
“While the United Nations on a regular budget has increased by 140 percent, and its staff has more than doubled since 2000, we are not seeing the results in line with this investment,” Trump said.
According to Trump, supporters of the U.N. deserve to see leadership set clear parameters for the body’s ongoing missions.
“To honor the people of our nations, we must ensure that no one and no member state shoulders a disproportionate share of the burden, and that’s militarily or financially,” he said. “We also ask that every peacekeeping mission have clearly defined goals and metrics for evaluating success. They deserve to see the value in the United Nations, and it is our job to show it to them.”
Trump concluded his address by encouraging U.N. Secretary General António Guterres “to fully use his authority to cut through the bureaucracy, reform outdated systems, and make firm decisions to advance the U.N.’s core mission.”
He went on to encourage member nations to “look at ways to take bold stands at the United Nations with an eye toward changing business as usual and not being beholden to ways of the past, which were not working.”
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