Most regrettably, the U.S. Administration’s 2019 budget delivered February 12 to the U.S. Congress proposes devastating budget cuts to almost every UN account and agency. The cuts range from 20 percent from UN Peacekeeping; 100 percent from agencies such as UNDP and UNFPA; the UN Environment programs and UN Women; and 50 percent from the World Health Organization, and the Food and Agriculture Organization. Overall, the State Department and U.S. foreign affairs budgets – which include the U.S. funding for the UN – would be a cut by 23 percent while the Pentagon’s budget would increase by 15 percent. Detailed budgets and statements from the Better World Campaign appear at the end of this article.
President Donald J. Trump, United Nation Secretary-General António Guterres, and United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at the United Nations General Assembly
The budgets for programs of the UN and U.S. foreign aid assistance will also be cut to those countries which have made votes against or expressed disagreement with the U.S. on its foreign policy. While the administration says it will not use this barometer for deciding on humanitarian assistance, already it has cut 2018 UN funds required to operate the refugee programs in the West Bank and Gaza by 50 percent.
The implications of these cuts for all Americans is a drastic reduction in the programs that stand for long-term global peace in addition to fair and equitable support of peoples’ basic human needs. These are reductions of critical programs that help spur social and economic development and enable the most vulnerable to succeed in helping themselves. In the grand scheme of budget planning, full funding of U.S. support to the UN and its agencies would be less than half of one percent of the U.S. budget. The U.S. can well afford to meet these commitments to the UN and world peace. However, the U.S. can ill afford the high costs of slower global development, more wars and violence, and the increases in pressure for migration that will plague years to come if the UN is not adequately funded.
The Upper Mohawk Valley UNA-USA, with its members’ support, will continue to join in the significant efforts being made by civil society organizations in the U.S. and globally to stop these excessive roll backs of U.S. engagement for peace and long-term security. Take action today!
To better understand the specific cuts that have been proposed and the impact they would have, please see the following attachments: