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Punishing the world body

Dec 27,2017 - Last updated at Dec 27,2017

The US decision to reduce its annual contributions to the UN ordinary budget in retaliation for last week's UN General Assembly resolution on Jerusalem, declaring the decision of President Donald Trump recognising the holy city as the capital of Israel and consequently moving his country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as null and void, is devastating to the integrity and wellbeing of the international organisation. 

US Ambassador Nikki Haley announced recently that her government has decided to scale down the US contributions to the annual UN budget by $298 million in reprisal for the UN "defiance" of President Trump's stance on the holy city of Jerusalem. 

Such tactics to use budgetary contributions to the UN as a whip to punish the world body and its member states is not the norm in international relations with the rare exception of Israel and the US which repeatedly threaten to reduce or halt their annual budgetary allocations to the international organisation as a way to express their displeasure or disapproval of certain UN actions or resolutions affecting them. 

The future of the UN is now literally at stake in the wake of the declared US intention to scale down its contributions to its annual budget  given the fact that the UN can barely meet its expanding  responsibilities across the globe on the basis of  its current budget. 

Surely there are more reasonable ways to reflect a country's displeasure or  disagreement with a certain UN resolution than by suffocating it altogether financially. 

If such a policy becomes the norm or more widespread, it would mean the end of the UN as we know it. 

The 128 UN member states which voted for the resolution condemning Trump's recent position on Jerusalem have already been served with notice that Washington aims to raise the stakes on the issue of Jerusalem and the way the greater majority of states have voiced their disagreement with President Trump on Jerusalem by reconsidering financial aid to them.

It behooves the US to give a better and more reasonable example on state behaviour on disagreements regarding contentious issues facing the world. If the US behaviour becomes a pattern for other countries to follow, world peace and security would be its first casualty. 

 

The US is a super power not only in military terms or economic prowess but also by the fine examples that it can show on interstate behaviour bilaterally or within the UN. This much Washington has failed to do on the issue of Jerusalem.

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