Washington, D.C. (March 16, 2017) — Better World Campaign President Peter Yeo issued the following statement on the federal budget proposed today by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which would cut foreign affairs funding and significantly impact U.S. support for the United Nations:
“The Better World Campaign believes the budget proposal released today by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, if approved by Congress, would jeopardize U.S. national security interests and compromise American leadership at the United Nations and around the world. The budget proposes deep cuts in foreign affairs funding, which would significantly impact UN support at a time of increased challenges to global security and stability. Such reductions would undermine President Trump’s policy priorities to make America stronger and safer, and cede ground to countries that do not share our interests and values.
“The budget proposal:
- Calls for reducing or ending funding to international organizations, and the cuts to foreign affairs spending in the overall budget make reductions to the UN and international organizations not only inevitable but far reaching;
- Mandates the reduction of U.S. contributions to UN peacekeeping from 28 percent to 25 percent which would put the United States back into arrears at the UN for the first time in nearly a decade; and
- Ends U.S. funding for UN climate change programs, including the Green Climate Fund.
“While the President’s budget calls for sufficient resources to fulfill U.S. pledges to Gavi and the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (multilateral organizations in support of immunization and vaccinations, as well as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria), the cuts to the UN and other bilateral programs will undermine the effectiveness of these programs that have saved millions of lives over the past 15 years.
“As President Trump said in his February 28 address to Congress, ‘Our foreign policy calls for direct, robust, and meaningful engagement with the world.’ There is no better place for such engagement than at the United Nations. When we pursue our interests through the UN, we share the weight of responding to global crises with other countries. By facilitating burden-sharing, the UN saves American taxpayers the billions of dollars required to solve these issues than if we were to tackle them on our own. The proposed cuts would result in less burden-sharing and heighten demands for U.S. interventions across the globe.
“For decades, such cuts have been rejected by both Republican and Democratic Administrations. The cuts also run counter to the views of the majority of Americans. We encourage Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to speak out about the risks these cuts would have for U.S. national security and to pass a budget that maintains America’s commitment to the United Nations.”