Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton Tuesday applauded cuts to the United Nations budget, saying they are a “real opportunity” for President Donald Trump’s administration to rethink the United States’ share of what it contributes to the world agency and possibly even pulling out of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
“There are plenty of parts of the U.N. system that don’t deserve any U.S. funding, let alone a cut,” Bolton told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” program. “I think if the administration really wants to review what the options are available to us, they should think about having the U.S. in the international taxation [plan] that burdens us with a 22 percent share of most U.N. budgets, and move toward voluntary contributions.”
If other countries follow, he added, “it would be like a tsunami through the U.N. system,” Bolton said.
Meanwhile, Bolton said he also believes the United States should withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council, and “totally defund it.”
“I think it’s pure theater,” said Bolton. “There are a number of other U.N. programs and agencies I think we could zero out and we stay in the ones that we think are actually providing value. It is a revolutionary principle.”
On Sunday, current U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley announced a $285 million cut that had been made in the U.N.’s core budget, after the General Assembly adopted a $5.396 billion budget for 2018-2019, just below the $5.4 billion that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had sought.
The United States provides for 22 percent of the U.N.’s core budget, and Haley commented in a statement that “inefficiency and overspending” were “well-known” at the world agency.
Meanwhile, several allies voted against the United States’ decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, but pulling money from them is a separate subject, said Bolton.
However, he thinks the focus on the U.N. is proper, and many American were shocked to see U.S. allies standing with adversaries to criticize the United States for moving the embassy.
“This is one of these catastrophic mistakes that the U.N. makes from time to time, but it is why it gives the Trump administration a real opportunity to say no more business as usual,” said Bolton.
He also said it was not coincidental for the U.N. to target the United States.
The $285 million cut was likely based on agreement with other countries, and not “so revolutionary,” said Bolton.
“The stage is now set for some pretty dramatic steps and I think the administration would be well advised to do that.”