As news hits that President-elect Donald Trump has picked South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to be his U.N. ambassador, one question on the table is whether his administration and congressional Republicans will try to slash how much money the United States gives the United Nations.
U.N. peacekeeping forces are facing their highest demands since the end of the Cold War. There are 16 peacekeeping operations currently underway, mostly the result of sustained conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.
The U.S. is the largest contributor to the U.N.’s $5.4B core budget, at 22 percent, and also pays 28.5 percent of the separate $7.87 billion peacekeeping budget.
Among Republicans, U.N. favorability is at a 30-year low. A recent Pew Research survey showed a 37-point gap between Democrats and Republicans on this issue - the largest since the study began in 1990. Just 43 percent of Republicans viewed the U.N. favorably.
In a speech earlier this year, Trump took a hard line on the U.N., saying: “The United Nations is not a friend of democracy, it's not a friend to freedom, it's not a friend even to the United States of America."
Trump has also criticized the Obama administration’s support of the U.N.’s sustainable development goals on climate change and has promised to withdraw the U.S. from those commitments.
The question now is whether that rhetoric will hit the U.N. in its coffers.