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Does Trump Want to Sabotage the United Nations?

July 12, 2018 in Blogs

By Evelyn Leopold, Independent Media Institute

The Trump administration seems to see no value in participating in international conferences.

President Donald Trump has frequently scorned the United Nations, leaving his pragmatic UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to smooth over the rough spots as he rejected policies identified with his cerebral predecessor, Barack Obama.

The United Nations is made up of a lot of foreigners (and that’s the point); yet, Trump has stressed “America First” to the UN General Assembly, the world’s primary multilateral forum, most recently in September. This prompted Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, to comment: “This was a bombastic nationalistic speech. It must have been decades since one heard a speech like that in the UN General Assembly.”

Despite constant talk of bankrupting the United Nations, especially for peacekeeping, Nikki Haley made sure there was no “slash and burn” action—yet. She took credit for some budget reductions that were negotiated with the UN Secretary-General and Europeans. And she is known for withering condemnations of Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

But the bombardment by a Saudi-led coalition of civilians in Yemen is not high on the list of criticisms by the United States—or other Western nations since Iran is supporting the rebels.

Still, the Trump administration has injured the United Nations through relatively minor cuts that can add up. It withdrew from the Human Rights Council, cut financing to Palestinian refugees, and quit the UN population fund (UNFPA) as well as the cultural agency UNESCO. It also threatened all UN agencies and programs if they ever uttered the word “abortion” regardless of circumstances.

The White House started its negative initiatives by pulling out of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, which commits nations to take action against the earth’s rising temperatures. The United Nations has supplied some of the startling research on air, water and land pollution. Only the United States seems to reject the science.

The Trump administration also seems to see no value in participating in international conferences. The United States withdrew from a global compact on “handling flows of migrants and refugees, describing …read more


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