Trump planning review of UN treaties, funding – report

US press suggests White House is planning to pull out from many UN institutions and quit funding others

World leaders line up at the start of the 2015 Paris climate summit - but financial support for the process has dried up (Pic: UNFCCC)


Donald Trump’s administration is finalising plans to reassess its support and participation in the United Nations, according to the New York Times.

The paper’s Interpreter columnist Max Fisher said he had viewed two draft executive orders from president Trump which outline cuts to US funding for the UN and a review of its support for multilateral treaties.

The first order, named “Auditing and Reducing U.S. Funding of International Organisations”, would directly impact the UN’s climate body because it has granted Palestine full membership.

According to Fisher the order demands a termination of financial support “for any United Nations agency or other international body that meets any one of several criteria. Those criteria include organizations that give full membership to the Palestinian Authority or Palestine Liberation Organisation.”

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The Bonn-based UN climate body relies on the US for $4million of support every year, around a fifth of its annual budget.

In addition, Fisher writes, the order calls for then enacting “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” in remaining United States funding toward international organisations.’

A second order, named a Moratorium on New Multilateral Treaties, says the US will reassess all treaties with more than one nation.

“The order says this review applies only to multilateral treaties that are not “directly related to national security, extradition or international trade,” but it is unclear what falls outside these restrictions,” writes Fisher.

“For example, the Paris climate agreement or other environmental treaties deal with trade issues but could potentially fall under this order.”

Speaking to the BBC World Service, Fisher said the documents do not mention the US quitting the 2015 Paris climate deal – which was agreed by 195 countries and came into force last year – but “if you read it it certainly looks like they are paving the way,” he said.

Under UN rules the US would have to give one year’s notice to leave the UNFCCC and four to quit the Paris Agreement. Trump does not need Senate approval to depart either.

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