Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Former US diplomat warns defunding UN will aid China’s ascension

Responding to Congress’ push to cut US funding of the United Nations, former US diplomat Ambassador Richard Schifter warned such a move could aid China’s ascension and allow UN member states to harm Israel. Currently, the US government provides the UN with $8 billion each year, accounting for 22% of the UN’s budget. Japan contributes the second largest amount to the UN, while China comes in third. Schifter said a better move would be to “reform” the UN, claiming “significant changes” needed to be made in its structure. He pointed out the UN often votes on resolutions which go against US policy. In his opinion, this is done “instinctually” and the countries simply lack guidance. “It doesn’t make much sense to allow an organization that lives off of US dollars to promote a position that continues to damage the prospects of the two-state solution the US so desires,” Schifter said. “So there are UN programs that we fund that we have a very serious interest in reforming for the sake of Israel’s benefit.” Israel itself cut $6 million in funding to the UN after the UN passed Resolution 2334, which claims all Jews living in Judea and Samaria are international criminals. The US has continuously pushed for a “two-state solution” despite the fact Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to negotiate directly with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu unless certain preconditions are met. Meanwhile, US-China relations are strained. US President Barack Obama said in December that “China is more of a threat than Russia.” China recently captured a US drone in the South China Sea, and resents the West’s interference in the region’s dispute over the waters. China also accused the US of “serious military provocation.”



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