There was a gift you may have missed. On Christmas Eve, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, announced a sizeable cut for the U.N. operating budget to the tune of $285 million dollars. That sounds like a lot, and it’s a good start, but that’s all it is. Ambassador Haley called the cut “a step in the right direction,” and implied there would be more to come.
For perspective, The New York Times reports, “[T]he United States is responsible for 22 percent of the United Nations operating budget, the largest contribution. It paid about $1.2 billion of the 2016-2017 budget of $5.4 billion. The United States also is the largest single financial contributor, at 28.5 percent, to a separate budget for United Nations peacekeeping operations, which totals $6.8 billion in the 2017-2018 budget finalized in June.”
Upon announcing the cut, Ms. Haley told the less-than august organization, “The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known. We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked.”
The U.N.’s problems, however, are larger than inefficiency and overspending; they include rape, sex trafficking and the spread of disease.
In August, 2016, the U.N. finally admitted that they, in fact, “played a role” in the cholera epidemic in Haiti, resulting in the deaths of at least 10,000 people while sickening hundreds of thousands more. After years of stonewalling, the U.N. admission comes only after a scathing independent report for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The New York Times reported:
“[The investigator] wrote that the United Nations’ Haiti cholera policy ‘is morally unconscionable, legally indefensible and politically self-defeating.’ He added, ‘It is also entirely unnecessary.’ The organization’s continuing denial and refusal to make reparations to the victims, he argued, ‘upholds a double standard according to which the U.N. insists that member states respect human rights, while rejecting any such responsibility for itself.’ He said, ‘It provides highly combustible fuel for those who claim that U.N. peacekeeping operations trample on the rights of those being protected…’”
The euphemistic word here is “fuel.” Many people call it “evidence.”
Cholera wasn’t the only thing the U.N. was doing in Haiti. The Associated Press reported in April of this year of a “U.N. child sex ring” impacting at least 23 countries. Their investigation found, “U.N. missions during the past 12 years found nearly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and other personnel around the world — signaling the crisis is much larger than previously known. More than 300 of the allegations involved children, the AP found, but only a fraction of the alleged perpetrators served jail time.”
Further, the wire service reported, “Here in Haiti, at least 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers exploited nine children in a sex ring from 2004 to 2007.” A decade ago the U.N. promised to crack down on child sex abuse, yet, as the AP reports, years later children were still being “passed around from soldier-to-soldier. And in the years since, peacekeepers have been accused of sexual abuse the world over.”
This from the same entity that just put Saudi Arabia on the “UN Women’s Rights Commission,” for the 2018-2022 term.
Hillel Neuer, executive director of the nonprofit watchdog U.N. Watch, told Fortune magazine, “the vote ‘definitely has the power of sending a message,’ he says, to Saudi women in particular, by ‘putting their oppressor in a position of power and influence when it comes to women’s rights.’”
In 2014, the U.N. also placed Iran on the same human rights body.
For an entity that feels Iran and Saudi Arabia deserve to sit on a human rights panel determining the fate of women, it comes as no surprise that last year the same collection of miscreants brought 21 resolutions against Israel, with just 6 against the rest of the world.
U.N. Watch reported in November, “EU states have failed to introduce a single UNGA resolution on the human rights situation in China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Cuba, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, Algeria, or on 175 other countries.”
The U.N. is more than an inefficient over-spender, it is a cancer that American taxpayers are funding to spread. The crimes of sex trafficking alone should be enough for the decent countries of the world to condemn and dismantle it.
Sexual predator Harvey Weinstein is still being internationally condemned and criminally investigated for abusing and assaulting actresses. President Trump is hunting down MS-13 for drug running and sex trafficking. While hugging Iran, Mr. Obama turning a blind eye to drug running, money laundering terrorists Hezbollah is finally revealed and shocking.
But the U.N. continues to operate, and we continue to fund it.
Reducing the billions of dollars we pay by a few hundred million is nothing. President Trump and Ambassador Haley must understand there is no benefit that now outweighs the calamity of the U.N.
Ironically, we can now only achieve the U.N.’s initial mission of making the world a safer place by dismantling the U.N. itself.
• Tammy Bruce, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.