WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration will not issue executive orders calling for a review of international treaties and U.S. funding of the United Nations and other international bodies “at this time,” a senior U.S. administration official said on Friday.
The Trump administration was preparing executive orders that would review U.S. funding of the United Nations and other international organizations and certain forms of multilateral treaties, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
“We remain committed to supporting the useful and necessary work performed by such organizations and alliances, and look forward to continuing that support,” the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“While no executive orders on these subjects are expected at this time, this president and his administration intend to be watchful stewards of the American people’s interests and of the American taxpayer’s dollars,” the official added.
It was immediately clear why the orders were being shelved.
According to one draft executive order published by The Daily Beast, Trump wants a committee, including his secretary of state, attorney general and director of national intelligence, to carry out a one-year review of U.S. funding to international organizations with the aim of almost halving voluntary funding.
The United States is the largest contributor to the United Nations, paying 22 percent of the $5.4 billion core U.N. budget and 28 percent of the $7.9 billion U.N. peacekeeping budget. These are assessed contributions - agreed by the U.N. General Assembly - and not voluntary payments.
U.N. agencies, such as the U.N. Development Programme, the children’s agency UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the U.N. Population Fund, are funded voluntarily.
The new U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, pledged on Friday to overhaul the world body and warned U.S. allies that if they did not support Washington then she is “taking names” and will respond.
During her Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing this month, Haley said she did not back “slashing” U.N. funding.
Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and James Dalgleish