Taking Action on the United Nations in 2017

Change Initiatives

  • September 18, 2017: President Trump hosted a meeting at the United Nations on UN reform, where he called for increased efficiency and an end to disproportionate sharing of the UN's financial and military burden by member states.
  • September 7, 2017: The Senate 2018 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which would cut funding to the United Nations in 2018, was introduced in the Senate and placed on the calendar.
  • September 7, 2017: An amendment by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to the 2018 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill which would cut U.S. funding to the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was advanced to a floor vote by the House Rules Committee. The amendment provides: "None of the funds appropriated by this Act [Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2018] may be made available in support of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, or the United Nations Relief and Works Agency."
  • July 24, 2017: The July 19, 2017 House Appropriations bill which would cut United Nations funding in 2018 was introduced in the House of Representatives and placed on the calendar.
  • July 19, 2017: The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would cut funding to the United Nations in 2018.
  • June 28, 2017: Under U.S. pressure, the UN agreed to cut nearly $600 million from the UN peacekeeping budget, roughly a seven percent cut. The United States, the biggest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping, had sought a nearly $1 billion cut to the bill and the European Union had also pushed for savings to bring costs down to $7.3 billion from the current $7.87 billion.
  • June 14, 2017: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testified before the House of Representatives' Committee on Foreign Affairs that the U.S. may withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council if it does not reform and instead consider human rights issues with like-minded partners on a multilateral basis.
  • June 9, 2017: The Trump administration proposed an annual UN peacekeeping budget of $6.99 billion, cutting $1 billion from the previous year's UN peacekeeping budget, in order to shave over 10 percent off of the U.S.'s share of the bill.
  • May 23, 2017: The Trump administration released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2018, including a reduction of contributions to UN peacekeeping to the statutory cap of 25 percent of assessed contributions by UN member states, and the elimination of voluntary contributions to UN bodies, including the UN's Green Climate Fund and Global Climate Change Initiative, UN Women, and the UN Development Programme.
  • April 28, 2017: Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen introduced legislation in the House of Representatives which would withhold United States funding for UNRWA until the Secretary of State certifies that no UNRWA employees are affiliated with terrorist organizations, no UNRWA school or facility is being used for any purpose by terrorist organizations, and no UNRWA schools use textbooks containing anti-American, anti-Israel, or antisemitic material.
  • April 27, 2017: Senators Marco Rubio and Christopher Coons finished gathering the signatures of all 100 U.S. Senators for a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling for action to reduce antisemitism and anti-Israel bias.
  • April 24, 2017: The Trump administration ordered ambassadors in UNESCO member states to lobby their host countries' foreign ministries to oppose an anti-Israel UNESCO resolution scheduled for a vote on May 1, 2017.
  • April 10, 2017: U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley circulated a "concept note" to the UN Security Council, as president of the Council for the month of April. In it, she asked the Council to "steer the discussion" of the pre-scheduled quarterly debate on "the Middle East, including the Palestinian question" away from Israel, and asked "Council members, Member States and others to examine the conflicts in the Middle East through a broader lens and address what they view as the most serious issues of international peace and security in the Middle East." Almost all speakers ignored the request, including democratic states like Sweden.
  • April 3, 2017: The U.S. Department of State announced its decision to eliminate funding for the UN Population Fund because it "supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization." The U.S. had been providing $75 million in core budget and earmarked contributions.
  • March 30, 2017: U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley asked the UN Security Council to trim down the UN's largest peacekeeping mission in the DR Congo. Security Council resolution 2348 was adopted and contained a reduction of approximately 370 troops from the 17,000-person mission. Haley originally asked for a reduction of 1,500 troops. Haley has also indicated she will seek a wind-down of the missions in Haiti, Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia.
  • March 23, 2017: Senators Ben Cardin and Rob Portman introduced legislation in the Senate which prohibits companies or individuals engaged in commerce from engaging in a boycott of Israel sponsored by the international governmental organizations, such as the UN. The bill declares the opposition of Congress to the UN Human Rights Council's production of a blacklist of companies engaged in business directly or indirectly in territories beyond Israel's 1949 Armistice lines. Representative Peter Roskam introduced the same legislation in the House of Representatives.
  • March 20, 2017: The United States delegation to the UN "Human Rights" Council boycotted the HRC's annual debate against Israel also known as "Agenda Item Seven", in protest of the biased manner in which Israel is singled out. (The Obama administration did the same.)
  • March 16, 2017: President Trump released his proposed budget outline for 2018 which calls for a reduction of funding to the UN and affiliated agencies, including limiting U.S. contributions to peacekeeping to no more than 25 percent of UN peacekeeping costs.
  • February 15, 2017: Members of the 'US-Israel Security Alliance,' a committee comprised of prominent civic, business and communal leaders, lobbied Senators to support cutting funding to the United Nations until the president certifies to Congress that United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 has been repealed.
  • February 2, 2017: A Joint Subcommittee (Middle East and North Africa; Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations) of the U.S. House of Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on Israel, the Palestinians, and the United Nations: Challenges for the New Administration.
  • January 31, 2017: Representative Kay Granger introduced legislation in the House of Representatives which would prohibit the United States from making any voluntary or assessed contributions to the United Nations or any UN organization until the President certifies to Congress that Security Council Resolution 2334 has been repealed.
  • January 25, 2017: President Donald Trump drafts executive order calling for termination of U.S. funding for any organization that gives full membership to the Palestinian Authority or Palestine Liberation Organization, supports programs that fund abortions, acts to circumvent sanctions against Iran or North Korea, or 'is controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism.'
  • January 23, 2017: Launch of "Covenant of Democratic Nations." "In an effort to reconstitute the mission of achieving world peace, democratic nations devoted to genuine democracy, equality, and peaceful relations seek to replace the United Nations with the Covenant of Democratic Nations. The Covenant of Democratic Nations will review, re‐ratify, amend, or nullify all acts and resolutions of the United Nations and its agencies creating a new body of long‐overdue, reformed, and updated international law. Some suggest that the body may even sunset its own existence after its reform work is done."
  • January 17, 2017: Senators Tom Cotton, James Inhofe, Marco Rubio, and Roger Wicker introduced a bill in the Senate which withholds funding from the UN until the President certifies that no UN agency grants any certification to an organization that promotes antisemitism, reduces funding for the the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), and prohibits the UN from running for a seat on the HRC until it removes the permanent agenda item on Israel.
  • January 15, 2017: Over 1,000 people demonstrated outside the Israeli Embassy in Paris on Sunday, protesting against the Middle East peace conference taking place in the city. Protesters, many holding Israeli flags, said the summit attempts to hurt Israel's position and to divide Jerusalem, which they said is a concern to Jews worldwide...'I hoped that world leaders would have commemorated the Paris attacks and be fighting terror, but instead they're gathering for that conference. No resolution, no conference, can separate the Jewish people and Jerusalem,' he added."
  • January 12, 2017: Senator Ted Cruz introduced legislation in the Senate which prohibits the United States from making any voluntary or assessed contributions to the United Nations or any UN organization until the President certifies to Congress that Security Council Resolution 2334 has been repealed.
  • January 12, 2017: 5,000 people rallied in New York against the UN's targeting of Israel and for the end of U.S. funding to the UN. The rally was organized by The North American Coalition for Israel, which represents 50 pro-Israel groups.
  • January 11, 2017: Over 260 members of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) lobbied on Capitol Hill for measures that call to repeal a recent United Nations resolution and to move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
  • January 8, 2017: A rally against the UK's support for the UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements was held in central London. Protesters responded to a call from the Zionist Federation and other Jewish groups to show opposition to the what was described as the 'biased' resolution passed by the Security Council last month. Demonstrators on Sunday afternoon held aloft banners stating: 'UK! Don't Endorse UN Bias Against Israel'. Organisers said around 300 people attended.
  • January 4, 2017: Representatives Trent Frank and Doug Lamborn introduced legislation which would prohibit the United States from providing assessed or voluntary UN contributions until 180 days after receiving reports on U.S. contributions to UN peacekeeping and other U.S. contributions to the UN.
  • January 3, 2017: Representative Mike Rogers introduced legislation in the House of Representatives which would require the President to terminate U.S. membership in the United Nations and prohibit providing any assessed or voluntary contributions to the UN or for any UN peacekeeping operations.
  • December 30, 2016: Hundreds of protesters from the Flaxmere Christian Fellowship rallied outside of New Zealand's Parliament to protest New Zealand's co-sponsorship of Security Council Resolution 2234.
  • December 28, 2016: A hundred protesters rallied outside of the UN to protest Security Council Resolution 2234.
  • November 30, 2016: Members of Congress held a press conference urging the Obama Administration to not take action on the Israel-Palestinian peace process at the UN during the lame-duck session.
  • November 29, 2016: Congressman Doug Lamborn held a Congressional briefing on the implications of UN or Administration action on the Israel-Palestinian peace process during the lame-duck session, featuring Anne Bayefsky.