Donald Trump’s pick for UN ambassador questions US funding of world body

January 18, 2017 7:00 pm

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley speaks at the Federalist , 2016 National Lawyers Convention on November 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

President-elect ’s choice for ambassador to the United Nations will question whether funding for the intergovernmental organization that “does more harm than good” is justified, according to a report.
During her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will indicate that she believes the should reconsider its contribution of 22 percent to the UN’s annual budget, CNN reported.
“Are we getting what we pay for?” she is expected to ask, according to a copy of her opening statement obtained by the network.
Haley will also state that the UN is increasingly moving away from US interests at home and abroad.
“[The UN] is an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers,” she will say. “More Americans are becoming convinced…that the United Nations does more harm than good.”
Furthermore, Haley will criticize the UN for a recent Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction on the occupied Palestinian territories.
The governor will argue that last month’s vote was “damaging” and proof of a long history of anti-Israel bias at the world body.
“Nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel,” she will say.
Trump himself has long expressed skepticism about the UN, but his opposition was cemented by the decision to condemn Israel.

President-elect Donald Trump (file photo)

The outgoing administration of President Barack Obama broke the long-standing US tradition of shielding Israel at the UN and abstained from the vote, allowing the resolution to pass. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump have both said they would ignore the UN measure.
Haley will be introduced before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Senator Lindsey Graham.
Graham, Republican of South Carolina, is spearheading legislation in the Senate to pull US funding for the UN over the December 23 resolution that demanded Israel halt all settlement activities on Palestinian lands.
The current ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, has warned that cutting funding to the world body would be “extremely detrimental” to American interests.
“We lead the world in part by leading at the UN,” Power said on Friday, adding, “countries like Russia and China” would benefit “if there’s less US leadership at the UN.”
In her testimony, Haley will praise some of UN successes, including food and health programs as well as its weapons monitoring and peacekeeping missions.
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