Taking Action on the United Nations in 2017

Statements


President Donald Trump
  • April 24, 2017: Remarks by President Trump at a Working Lunch with U.N. Security Council Ambassadors: "For the United Nations to play an effective role in solving these and other security challenges, big reforms will be required. In addition, we must also take a close look at the U.N. budget. Costs have been -- absolutely gone out of control...The United States, just one of 193 countries in the U.N., pays for 22 percent of the budget and almost 30 percent of the United Nations peacekeeping, which is unfair. We need the member states to come together to eliminate inefficiency and bloat, and to ensure that no one nation shoulders a disproportionate share of the burden militarily or financially. This is only fair to our taxpayers."
  • February 15, 2017: President Trump: "America and Israel are two nations that cherish the value of all human life. This is one more reason why I reject unfair and one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations which has treated Israel, in my opinion, very, very unfairly or other international forums as well as boycotts that target Israel."
  • December 28, 2016: President-elect Trump: "The UN has such tremendous potential. Not living up to its potential. There is such tremendous potential, but it is not living up. When do you see the United Nations solving problems? They don't. They cause problems. So if it lives up to the potential it's a great thing. And if it doesn't it's a waste of time and money."
  • December 23, 2016: President-elect Trump: "As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations. This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis... As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th."
Vice President Mike Pence
  • February 16, 2017: "Vice President Mike Pence hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for breakfast at the Vice President's Residence at the Naval Observatory... They...agreed to work together against one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations and other international forums, as well as boycotts that target Israel..."
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
  • March 14, 2017: "The Trump administration is threatening a withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council if it does not undertake 'considerable reform,' Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned a group of nine non-profit organizations in a letter this week... Tillerson, in his letter to the U.N. advocates and human rights groups, said that while the United States 'continues to evaluate the effectiveness' of the Council, it remains skeptical about the virtues of membership in a human rights organization that includes states with troubled human rights records such as China, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. 'We may not share a common view on this, given the makeup of the membership,' Tillerson told the organizations, who have urged continued U.S. membership. 'While it may be the only such organization devoted to human rights, the Human Rights Council requires considerable reform in order for us to continue to participate.'"
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley
  • June 28, 2017: Testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee: "We've also called out the UN Human Rights Council for legitimizing human rights violators at the expense of their victims. We've put forward reforms to make the Council what it was meant to be: a place of conscience for nations and justice for victims. I traveled to Geneva earlier this month to make it clear to the Council that continued U.S. participation is contingent on adoption of these reforms. On a related note, the U.S. Mission now refuses to tolerate one of the UN's most disreputable and dangerous habits: obsessively bashing Israel. We forced the withdrawal of a false and biased report. And we've steered the Security Council's monthly debate on the Middle East away from unfairly targeting Israel, and toward the true threats in the region, such as Iran and Hamas."
  • June 13, 2017: From press release by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations: "Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed concern about a report released yesterday by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 'Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.' "This report is just the latest example of the Human Rights Council singling out Israel rather than focusing on the world's actual human rights abusers. Not only does it undermine the credibility of the Human Rights Council on human rights issues, but it once again highlights the unfair bias of the UN when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,' Ambassador Haley said... It's actions like these that are forcing us to evaluate the United States' future on the Human Rights Council. The Council, and indeed the entire United Nations, were founded on the principles of equality and fairness. This report once again fails that mission."
  • June 4, 2017: From interview with Eric Shawn: "How can you have a Human Rights Council that has Venezuela and Cuba on it? It just doesn't make sense. So we're going to go to Geneva, talk to them about what we think the Human Rights Council does well, talk to them on where improvement is needed, and decide our status after that, to see if they're really serious about human rights or not... Haley: I don't know that I'll be successful, but I know that I have to have my voice heard. I know that they have to understand the US position of the fact that we take human rights seriously, we think that it is the root cause to many conflicts that can happen, and we expect certain things of the Human Rights Council. And if they want to be better and if they want to make some changes, the U.S. will stay on it. If they don't, then in the name of human rights, we'll get off."
  • June 2, 2017: From Op-Ed by Ambassador Haley in the Washington Post: "Next week, I will travel to Geneva to address the Human Rights Council about the United States' concerns. I will outline changes that must be made. Among other things, membership on the council must be determined through competitive voting to keep the worst human rights abusers from obtaining seats. As it stands, regional blocs nominate candidates that are uncontested. Competition would force a candidate's human rights record to be considered before votes were cast. The council must also end its practice of wrongly singling out Israel for criticism. When the council passes more than 70 resolutions against Israel, a country with a strong human rights record, and just seven resolutions against Iran, a country with an abysmal human rights record, you know something is seriously wrong... I believe the vision of the Human Rights Council is still achievable, but not without change."
  • May 19, 2017: From press release for meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: "Ambassador Haley encouraged the High Commissioner to help counter the Human Rights Council's obsession with Israel. She conveyed her concerns that Council members exploit what should be the world's premier rights body to promote their anti-Israel agenda, diverting attention from some of the worst human rights abusers including Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela."
  • May 18, 2017: From press release for meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop: "Ambassador Haley and Foreign Minister Bishop also emphasized the importance of continued U.S.-Australian cooperation on human rights, fighting anti-Israel bias at the UN, Syria, ISIS, and UN reform."
  • April 25, 2017: Remarks at the Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress: "It's still early in my time as ambassador, but I think I can safely say that it's a new day for Israel at the United Nations. I know it's a new day for Israel at the US Mission to the United Nations. Before I was confirmed as ambassador, I watched in horror as the Security Council passed resolution 2334 and the US stood by and allowed it to happen. I can say with complete and total confidence that those days are over. The United States will no longer be silent as Israel is unfairly attacked at the United Nations. Silence is not my thing anyway, but that's especially true when it comes to standing up for America's friends. And we have no better friend in the Middle East than Israel. The anti-Israel bias that has existed for so long at the UN is cut from the same cloth as the BDS movement and the global rise in anti-Semitism. They all seek to delegitimize Israel. They are all efforts to intimidate her friends and embolden her enemies. The UN charter commits member states to quote 'respect...human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.' Everyone pays lip service to these words, of course. Everyone claims to support human rights. But when it comes time to singling out a country for violating these rights - the amount of hypocrisy is just unbelievable. Israel is singled out more than Iran, Syria, and North Korea. It's just shocking, and it undermines the entire credibility of the UN. However, pushing back against the bias is easier than many people think. There's really no magic to it. All you have to do is tell the truth. The truth is there is only one true democracy in the Middle East. There is only one country in the region that grants equal justice under the law. There is only one country that fully respects the rights of women and religious minorities. As long as I'm America's representative at the UN, I am going to stand for human rights and I am going to stand for the truth. And that means I am going to stand for Israel."
  • April 20, 2017: Remarks at a UN Security Council meeting. The meeting was advertised by the UN Daily Journal as (and is officially called by the UN Security Council): "The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question." On the US UN mission website (only) the meeting was called the "UN Security Council Open Debate on the Middle East". Haley: "Every month, this Security Council convenes a meeting on the Middle East. We have lots of meetings on specific countries and conflicts in this region. But this debate is our opportunity to talk about the Middle East as a whole. This is our opportunity to look at the threats that go beyond one country's borders the threats that affect not just every country in the Middle East, but all too often, every single one of us. Regrettably, these monthly meetings routinely turn into Israel-bashing sessions. That's the way this Security Council has operated for years. It's a formula that is absurdly biased against one country. It's a formula that is painfully narrow in its description of the conflicts in the region. And it's a formula that does nothing to help find solutions...We should be asking these monthly Middle East sessions to talk about the factors that cause conflict across the region... How one chooses to spend one's time is an indication of one's priorities. The same is true for the United Nations Security Council. The Israel-Palestinian issue is an important one, deserving of attention. But that is one issue that surely has no lack of attention around here. The incredibly destructive nature of Iranian and Hizballah activities throughout the Middle East demands much more of our attention. It should become this Council's priority in the region."
  • April 13, 2017: Speaking in explanation of vote on UN Security Council resolution on UN Mission in Haiti: "The United States has made it clear to the UN and all troop-contributing countries that these abuses must stop...We will...continue to push for accountability of those troops in Haiti, as well as all troop-contributing countries involved in peacekeeping efforts."
  • April 6, 2017: Remarks at briefing on UN peacekeeping operations: "...in many cases, UN peacekeeping is just not working. In Darfur, a 17,000-strong force designed for yesterday's challenges is not built for the needs of today. In South Sudan, where UN staff helped save hundreds of thousands of civilians, these vulnerable people have no hope of returning to a normal life. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the government uses the UN to neutralize only the armed groups that it wants to, leaving others untouched. Outside of Africa, we have our mission in Kosovo, which, if we're honest with ourselves, has no real reason for being."
  • March 29, 2017: Ambassador Haley (remarks at Council for Foreign Relations): "... The UN Security Council just like the South Carolina legislature is basically a club. And the thing about clubs is that they have rules, and they have a culture... I've approached my job at the UN in the same way I did in South Carolina: I'm working to change the culture...At the U.S. Mission, we're all about changing the culture and bringing positive energy to the United Nations. We've put accountability front and center. People who've worked with me know that I have no tolerance for unmet promises and inaction. My team is about action, reliability, and results. We demand that of ourselves and we expect it of others. We're also having the backs of our allies, and we're not afraid to call out the governments that don't have our backs. We will deal fairly with the people who are fair with us. If not, all bets are off. Don't get me wrong. I don't have illusions about how easily an institution the size and complexity of the United Nations can be changed. Still, with the support of the new Secretary-General and many of my colleagues on the Security Council, we've already started to make some progress. A couple of weeks ago when a UN agency put out yet another ridiculously biased report attacking Israel, we were able to work with the Secretary-General to have it withdrawn. The head of the UN agency then resigned. I think this incident really goes to the heart of what needs to be changed at the United Nations. So many dollars and man hours were spent to produce a false and defamatory report. So much energy and emotion is spent on the same old things. Meanwhile, the UN is missing the growing discontent and growing distrust among the people it's supposed to represent...Like all governing bodies, the United Nations has to contend with this growing wave of discontent. I came to the UN with the goal of showing the American people value for our investment in this institution. And when I say "value," I'm not primarily talking about budgets. I'm talking about making the UN an effective tool on behalf of our values...I believe strongly that the time has come for the Security Council to explicitly consider the connection between human rights and security. This debate is one that's worth having. It would greatly strengthen the work of the Security Council. And it's the right thing to do. We intend to challenge Member States to start walking the walk and not just talking the talk of human rights. We will see which countries rise to the challenge and which resort to the same old, tired excuses. It will be very telling if any country tries to block this debate. It's past time that the Security Council acknowledge the importance of human rights abuses and demand that its member nations do the same. A second issue I intend to focus on in the coming weeks is the UN peacekeeping operations. This is an area of great potential for reform. One of the ways the UN does its best work and shows its greatest value is through peacekeeping operations. But too often the focus of our peacekeeping efforts is on the troop contributing countries that is those who are paid to send troops into an area or the funding countries, or the bureaucracy of the UN itself, not on protecting civilians and achieving a political solution... I mean, the Human Rights Council is so corrupt. I mean, if you look what countries do is they get on it to protect themselves, to make sure that the fingers never pointed at them instead of actually looking at what we need to be doing for human rights for people around the world, and that's part of it. When you've got bad actors that actually sit on the Human Rights Council, it makes you call into question what it is we're trying to do. And so, what we've said is, what is the role of the Human Rights Council? Are they meeting it? And does the United States find value in it? We want to make sure where we can find the most value and success and actual energy put to place that changes, we want to be involved in. I don't think the Human Rights Council has been effective. I think that we need to look at it. We need to tell them what we want to see to make it effective. But that's the whole reason why it has to be a Security Council issue as well, because if you look at Syria, had we gotten in there sooner, had we stopped the abuses of their people sooner from Assad, we could've actually maybe prevented all of that's happened. But that wasn't discussed. That wasn't talked about. That wasn't brought up to the surface. And those are the kinds of things we need to have brought up earlier rather than later... Really, all I've done with Israel is tell the truth. So when I saw something wrong, I called it out. It was amazing to me that we had a briefing on the Middle East and literally all it was an Israel-bashing session. And so I was confused because there were so many other issues that needed to be talked about that were in the Middle East and that was just all they talked about. And they do it every single month. And so it was really just saying, with all the issues in the world this is what we're going to talk about? So that was the logic with that... I met with the head of-with the representative from the Palestinian Authority, and we talked about the situation here at the United Nations. And what I said to him was: Look, we just want balance. We just want it to be fair. And in doing that, what I, you know, had asked of him was, don't put any more resolutions on the table bashing Israel. But at the same time, we're not going to be able to really support you going forward in moving up if you don't come to the table and negotiate."
  • March 27, 2017: Ambassador Haley (responding to questions): "...what can the United States do, what can the ambassador for the United States do... Nikki Haley: You know, basically what it comes down to is I'm not there to play. And what I wanted to make sure of was that the United States started leading again. And leading isn't saying and doing things when it's comfortable. Leading is saying and doing things when it's not comfortable. So the goal was have the backs of our allies. Never again do what we saw happen with Resolution 2334 and make anyone question our support. When Resolution 2334 happened, and the U.S. abstained, the entire country felt a kick in the gut. We had just done something that showed the United States at its weakest point ever. Never do we not have the backs of our friends. We don't have a greater friend than Israel. And to see that happen was not only embarrassing, it was hurtful. And so what I can tell you is everyone at the United Nations is scared to talk to me about Resolution 2334. And I wanted them to know that, look, that happened, but it will never happen again. So to answer the question on what can we do at the U.N., we can do a lot. The power of your voice is an amazing thing. So one, changing the culture of the U.N. is very important. And the way you change the culture of the U.N. is United States tells them what we're not going to put up with. We start to change the culture to what we should be talking about. And then we actually act on what we say. I wear heels. It's not for a fashion statement. It's because if I see something wrong, we're going to kick them every single time. So how are we kicking? We're kicking by, number one, putting everybody on notice, saying that if you have our back -- we're going to have the backs of our friends, but our friends need to have our back too. If you challenge us, be prepared for what you're challenging us for, because we will respond. The next thing we did was we said, the days of Israel-bashing are over. We have a lot of things to talk about. There are a lot of threats to peace and security. But you're not going to take our number one democratic friend in the Middle East and beat up on them. And I think what you're seeing is they're all backing up a little bit. The Israel-bashing is not as loud. They didn't know exactly what I meant outside of giving the speech, so we showed them. So when they decided to try and put a Palestinian in one of the highest positions that had ever been given at the U.N., we said no and we had him booted out. That doesn't mean he wasn't a nice man. That doesn't mean he wasn't good to America. What it means is, until the Palestinian Authority comes to the table, until the U.N. responds the way they're supposed to, there are no freebees for the Palestinian Authority anymore. So then they tested us again. And a ridiculous report, the Falk Report, came out. I don't know who the guy is or what he's about, but he's got serious problems. Goes and compares Israel to an apartheid state. So the first thing we do is we call the secretary general and say, this is absolutely ridiculous. You have to pull it. The secretary general immediately pulled the report. And then the director has now resigned. Last thing. So for anyone that says you can't get anything done at the U.N., they need to know there's a new sheriff in town."
  • March 15, 2017: Ambassador Haley: "The United States is outraged by the report of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising. That it was drafted by Richard Falk, a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories, including about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is equally unsurprising. The United Nations Secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether. The United States stands with our ally Israel and will continue to oppose biased and anti-Israel actions across the UN system and around the world."
  • February 16, 2017: Ambassador Haley: "The first thing I want to do is talk about what we just saw in there. The Security Council just finished its regular monthly meeting on Middle East issues. It's the first meeting like that that I've attended, and I have to say it was a bit strange. The Security Council is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security. But at our meeting on the Middle East, the discussion was not about Hizballah's illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon. It was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat ISIS. It was not about how we hold Bashar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians. No, instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. I am new around here, but I understand that's how the Council has operated, month after month, for decades. I'm here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. I'm here to emphasize the United States is determined to stand up to the UN's anti-Israel bias. We will never repeat the terrible mistake of Resolution 2334 and allow one-sided Security Council resolutions to condemn Israel. Instead, we will push for action on the real threats we face in the Middle East. We stand for peace. We support a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is negotiated directly between the two parties, as President Trump reiterated in his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday. The outrageously biased resolutions from the Security Council and the General Assembly only make peace harder to attain by discouraging one of the parties from going to the negotiating table. Incredibly, the UN Department of Political Affairs has an entire division devoted to Palestinian affairs. Imagine that. There is no division devoted to illegal missile launches from North Korea. There is no division devoted to the world's number one state-sponsor of terror, Iran. The prejudiced approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues does the peace process no favors. And it bears no relationship to the reality of the world around us. The double standards are breathtaking. Just a few days ago, the United States sought unsuccessfully to have the Security Council condemn a terrorist attack to Israel, where the terrorist opened fire on people waiting for a bus and then stabbed others. The Security Council would not hesitate to condemn an attack like that in any other country. But not for Israel. The statement was blocked. And that's downright shameful. Israel exists in a region where others call for its complete destruction and in a world where anti-Semitism is on the rise. These are threats that we should discuss at the United Nations as we continue working toward a comprehensive agreement that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But outside of the UN, there is some good news. Israel's place in the world is changing. Israel is building up new diplomatic relationships. More and more countries recognize how much Israel contributes to the world. They are recognizing that Israel is a beacon of stability in a troubled region, and that Israel is at the forefront of innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological discovery. It is the UN's anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change. The United States will not hesitate to speak out against these biases in defense of our friend and ally, Israel. I will say that I think we saw maybe a slightly different tone in the meeting, but we will have to see how it goes."
  • January 27, 2017: Ambassador Haley: "Our goal with the administration is to show value at the UN, and the way that we'll show value is to show our strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies, and make sure that our allies have our back, as well. For those who don't have our back, we're taking names we will make points to respond to that accordingly. But this is a time of strength, this is a time of action, this is a time of getting things done. And this administration is prepared and ready to go in to have me go in, look at the UN, and everything that's working, we're going to make it better; everything that's not working, we're going to try and fix; and anything that seems to be obsolete and not necessary, we're going to do away with. But this is a time of fresh eyes, new strength, new vision, and a great day at the USUN."
  • January 18, 2017: Ambassador Haley: "However, any honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with the American national interest and American taxpayers. Nowhere has the U.N.'s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than it is -- than its bias against our close ally Israel... We contribute 22% of the U.N.'s budget, far more than any other country. We are a generous nation. But we must ask ourselves what good is being accomplished by this disproportionate contribution. Are we getting what we pay for? To your credit, the Congress has already begun to explore ways the United States can use its leverage to make the United Nations a better investment for the American people. I applaud your efforts, and I look forward to working with you to bring seriously needed change to the U.N.... [M]y goal for the United Nations will be to create an international body that better serves the interests of the American people... We must build an international institution that honors commitment to freedom and democracy."
House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan
  • March 27, 2017: Speaker Ryan: "Israel today also faces a new threat... It is called the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions-or BDS-movement. We know the goal is to delegitimize Israel and isolate her under the thin veil of social justice and human rights. We saw this in December at the United Nations-an organization obsessed with singling out and demonizing Israel. So I want to say to the UN: We will not tolerate your anti-Israel bias. The Trump administration will not tolerate your anti-Israel bias. And our new ambassador, Nikki Haley, will certainly not tolerate your anti-Israel bias..."
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
  • March 8, 2017: "Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday asked US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to reconsider American support for the United Nations agency that deals with Palestinian refugees, as well as for the UN Human Rights Council. The agencies do not fulfill their mission, he told the secretary, according to readout of the meeting issued by Liberman's office. 'Instead, the Human Rights Council deals with demonizing Israel and with efforts to harm it by distorting reality.' He said it was unacceptable that 60 percent of the council's resolutions targeted Israel instead of dealing with the dire human rights situation in Iran or North Korea or Syria."
Senator Bob Menendez
  • March 28, 2017: "I refused to stand silent when the United States abstained from a UN Security Council vote that was unabashedly biased against Israel, and ultimately detrimental to the cause of peace. That's also why I co-introduced Senate Res. 6, strongly objecting to its passage. The U.N. Security Council can't pass a resolution condemning Iran's violation of ballistic missile testing. It can't pass a resolution to stop the humanitarian strife in Syria. It can't condemn Russia for indiscriminately bombing civilians in Aleppo. And yet it endorses a biased resolution that pins every wrong in the Middle East on the one nation that stands up for what's right. A resolution that allows terrorist organizations like Hamas to shirk any responsibility in the routine incitement of Palestinian violence. A resolution that emboldens hardliners who will seize it to advance their own agendas...Unfortunately, the United Nations is not the only place where Israel confronts this double standard. A double standard that increasingly seems little more than anti-Semitism in disguise."
Senator Marco Rubio
  • May 9, 2017: Senator Marco Rubio: "The United States cannot stand by and allow the sole democracy in the Middle East and one of our strongest allies on the planet to be targeted, discriminated against or held to a different standard than any other UN member state...These days, as you probably are well aware, it's difficult to find much that everyone can agree on in this city, but the one issue where you will find a united voice on Capitol Hill is the need to eliminate discriminatory behavior against Israel at international organizations."
  • May 1, 2017: Editorial co-authored with Senator Chris Coons: "While the U.N. has achieved some important successes since its founding 70 years ago, too many of its member states and agencies use the world body as a vehicle for targeting Israel rather than as a forum committed to advancing peace and human rights. This encourages and supports the broader scourge of anti-Semitism, and distracts key U.N. entities from their original missions. As both the U.N.'s principal founding member and its largest financial contributor, the U.S. must insist on real reforms. We in Congress have a responsibility to conduct rigorous oversight of U.S. engagement at the U.N. and its use of our citizens' tax dollars...We stand ready to lead sustained bipartisan efforts in Congress and with our international partners to eliminate the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias, and to fight anti-Semitism in all its forms."
  • January 18, 2017: Senator Rubio: "As I said when the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 2334 with the United States abstaining, if the U.N. wants to continue to attack Israel and promote anti-Semitism, I will work to see that it does so without U.S. taxpayer funding... It's time for the United Nations to be held accountable for targeting and singling out Israel while countries that actually threaten international peace and security-like Russia and China-go unchallenged."
Senator Chris Coons
  • May 1, 2017: Editorial co-authored with Senator Marco Rubio: "While the U.N. has achieved some important successes since its founding 70 years ago, too many of its member states and agencies use the world body as a vehicle for targeting Israel rather than as a forum committed to advancing peace and human rights. This encourages and supports the broader scourge of anti-Semitism, and distracts key U.N. entities from their original missions. As both the U.N.'s principal founding member and its largest financial contributor, the U.S. must insist on real reforms. We in Congress have a responsibility to conduct rigorous oversight of U.S. engagement at the U.N. and its use of our citizens' tax dollars...We stand ready to lead sustained bipartisan efforts in Congress and with our international partners to eliminate the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias, and to fight anti-Semitism in all its forms."
Senator Lindsey Graham
  • January 12, 2017: "Twenty-two percent of the money to fund the UN comes from the American taxpayer. I don't think it's a good investment for the American taxpayer to give money to an organization that condemns the only democracy in the Mideast, and takes the settlement issue and says that's the most important and only issue in terms of an impediment to peace. I begged the UN months before, don't put me in this box. This was John Kerry and Obama taking a slap at Israel. We're going to push back. I think most Americans believe that the United Nations has become more anti-Semitic, more anti-Israeli. And I'm a big internationalist, but we're going to stop the money until we get this fixed. I appreciate Ted's [Senator Cruz] leadership on this."
  • December 24, 2016: Speaking on CNN, Senator Lindsey Graham warned that he will propose a bill in Congress to pull U.S. funding for the United Nations unless the U.N. Security Council repeals its just-passed resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal. "'I am a huge supporter of foreign aid and the U.N... But I can't support funding a body that singles out the only democracy in the Middle East who shares our values... If you can't show the American people that international organizations can be more responsible, there is going to be a break. And I am going to lead that break."
  • December 23, 2016: In a statement, Senator Lindsey Graham announced "If the United Nations moves forward with the ill-conceived resolution, I will work to form a bipartisan coalition to suspend or significantly reduce United States assistance to the United Nations."
Senator Ted Cruz
  • January 5, 2017: Senator Ted Cruz . called for cutting U.S. taxpayer funding to the United Nations unless the U.N. Security Council repeals its discriminatory anti-Israel resolution #2334.: "U.S. Policy for decades has been to stand up for Israel at the United Nations, a hotbed of anti-semitism that discriminately condemns Israel more than any country in the world, particularly when resolutions are being offered up that are outrageously biased, that attempt to predetermine the outcome of negotiations, that prejudge the basis for negotiations or that try to dictate terms to Israel... I'm working with my colleague, Senator Lindsey Graham, on introducing legislation along with other members of this body designed to cut U.S. taxpayer funding going to the U.N., unless and until they repeal this disgraceful anti-Israel resolution."
  • December 24, 2016: Senator Ted Cruz tweeted 'No US $ for UN until reversed,'
Senator John Barasso
  • May 18, 2017: "'While the Republicans and Democrats might fight about a lot of things, what we are 100% united on is reining in the United Nations and the abuses that we have seen there... 100 of us signed a letter to the Secretary-General, saying that this must stop. This will stop. The U.S. is funding this. We as a Senate say: 'It is time to get rid of what you are doing at the United Nations [against Israel].'"
Senator Jerry Moran
  • December 30, 2016: Senator Jerry Moran announced that he would introduce a resolution on the first day of the 115th Congress supporting Israel and disapproving the recent actions of the United Nations. "The resolution I introduce next week when Congress reconvenes will express the sense of the Senate that we stand in support of Israel and disapprove of the U.N.'s actions. I am committed to working with both Republicans and Democrats to make sure we stand with Israel and that the United Nations cannot be used as a forum to create policies that hurt our nation and its allies."
Senator Chuck Schumer
  • December 23, 2016: "Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said it was 'extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding' that the Obama administration failed to veto the UN's vote. Schumer called out the UN as a "fervently" anti-Israel body, since the days of "Zionism is racism." 'Whatever one's views are on settlements, the UN is the wrong forum to settle these issues,' Schumer said."
Senator Ben Cardin
  • May 21, 2017: "We see that attack by those who support the BDS, boycotts, divestments and sanctions. It's an effort to delegitimate the State of Israel, and at times it's a direct effort to raise antisemitism and try to legitimate conduct that is clearly antisemitic. We got to stand tall against that...[T]he United Nations Human Rights Council passed an effort to support the BDS by requiring that there be a list of companies that do business with Israel. We got to counter that, and there's a bill pending right now, with Senator Portman and myself, that would counter that, and would provide that our representatives of EX-IM Bank must consider a country's anti-BDS activities, if they want to have our support in the EX-IM Bank."
  • January 18, 2017: "Yet I do believe we can all agree that the United Nations must do better in many areas. For it to achieve its full potential, it must change. So let me share with you some areas where I hope we can work to reform and change the way the United Nations does its business. First, the United Nations must be fair. One of the persistent weaknesses across the U.N. system has been its bias and ugly approach to issues related to Israel. This must end... United States must continue to use its voice and its vote to call out and push back against resolutions and other actions that aim to isolate Israel, our unique ally in the Middle East."
Senator Bob Corker
  • January 18, 2017: "The United Nations Security Council was created after World War II to create stability and to maintain security in the world. And yet as we look around the world today, it is failing in its cause of peace and security. We can only look to Syria, where over a half a million people have been slaughtered, people have been tortured, chemical weapons have been used against people, and yet the United Nations Security Council has been unable to do anything to counter what has happened there. Russia has remade the map [of Europe] by invading Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine, and yet the United Nations has been unable to deal with that issue. China is violating all kinds of international norms in the South China Sea, and yet the United Nations Security Council is unable deal with that issue. As a matter of fact, the United Nations Security Council has been unable to deal with the issues that it has agreed upon, its own resolutions; whether it is North Korea and the violations taking place and the half-hearted efforts that have taken place by members to really push and enforce strong sanctions. In Iran, we had the same issue where an agreement has been reached, and yet Iran continues to violate, especially on ballistic missiles. Something that, again, the United Nations Security Council had agreed to. And what it has done instead is continued to pursue anti-Semitic measures..."
Senator Cory Gardner
  • January 18, 2017: "It seems like we have a United Nations today composed of people far from the idea and vision that President Truman outlined. It's this idea of faith of men and human values, apparently in Russia it's illegal annexation of Crimea. North Korea tortures its own people and in Iran meaning the leading sponsor of terrorism around the globe. United Nations recently as we've talked about here passage of Resolution 2334, I encourage everybody here to watch the video of the reaction of the Security Council after the United States abstained from our leadership. Applause broke out in the Security Council. Contrast with the passage of 2270 and the passage of a sanctions against North Korea that has hundreds of thousands of people killing its own people, salving its own people and there was silence. The world apparently applauds when we attack our ally, but sits by when we condemn dictators."
Congressman Chris Smith
  • February 2, 2017: Rep. Chris Smith: "United States policy has long maintained that direct, bilateral negotiations are the only path to peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict. When we consider that this is our government's official policy, we are forced to recognize the UN as its primary opponent. Because of the reckless agenda of the Palestinian Authority and the misguided policies of global elites in New York and Geneva, the UN increasingly serves as a platform for efforts to circumvent negotiations, impose conditions, and isolate Israel...Clearly the United Nations is an institution that is in need of critical attention and serious reform...Considering the roughly $1.2 billion the United States contributes to UN institutions in toto annually, it is only right that we hold these institutions to account where they abuse their mandates, retaliate against whistleblowers, condone hatred, and undercut our friends. To borrow from a phrase we hear a lot from in Washington these days, we need to drain the UN swamp."
Congressman Louis Gohmert
  • January 5, 2017: Rep. Gohmert: "I remember when I was a little kid, I saw these signs on fence posts and stuff: 'Get Out of the U.N.' And I thought, you know, that's a little extreme. Well, the further I've gone, the more I'm going, 'You know what? There was something to that. So many dictatorships that are calling the shots, so many violators of human rights that are in charge of human rights and they're dictating to what was the freest country in the world, how bad we are and how bad Israel is, when actually, Muslims are more free in Israel than any other country in the area. We're about to bring up what should be a very noble thing, a resolution basically condemning the U.N. resolution on the Palestinian issue... I have one that's supposed to be coming out from legislative staff that says we're not gonna pay another dime to the U.N. until they rescind the resolution that was condemning Israel."
Congressman Mike Rogers
  • January 3, 2017: "The U.N. has attempted a number of actions which aimed to encroach on the rights granted to U.S. citizens under our Constitution. Most recently, the UN Security Council sided with Palestine and passed a resolution condemning Israel's settlements in Jerusalem. Attacks against one of the United States' greatest allies are just the most recent chapter in the UN's dangerous agenda. I believe our involvement in the UN is a waste of taxpayer dollars," Rogers said.
Congressman Eliot Engel
  • January 10, 2017: "The administration made a grievous mistake on not vetoing the one-sided, unfair resolution, which is biased against Israel," Democratic congressman Eliot Engel told TWS Thursday. "The United Nations excludes itself from being any kind of a fair mediator because it is so biased against Israel, each and every step of the way."
Congressman Dennis Ross
  • December 30, 2016: "Ross said in conclusion. 'I will continue to hold President Obama and the U.N. accountable for their anti-Israel actions. As Republicans and Democrats alike have expressed their contempt for this gross deviation from our foreign policy, I look forward to working with President-elect Trump in correcting President Obama's anti-Israel tactics, forming a stronger-than-ever friendship with Israel, and promoting peace overseas.'"
Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • January 24, 2017: "Congratulations to Nikki Haley on her confirmation as our ambassador to the United Nations. I have no doubt she'll be a tough negotiator on behalf of the American people. I look forward to working with her on bringing much-needed reforms to the U.N. and restoring U.S. leadership abroad."
Congresswoman Kay Granger
  • January 31, 2017: "I meant it when I said that the United States should seriously reexamine our financial support of the United Nations,' Congresswoman Granger said. 'The recent one-sided, anti-Israel resolution that passed the U.N. Security Council was only the latest example of the U.N.'s warped priorities and hostility toward our friend and democratic ally. I am proud to introduce this legislation with Congressman Zeldin which shows the American people, Israel and our allies around the world that we stand with them against attempts to undermine and delegitimize them."
Congressman Lee Zeldin
  • January 31, 2017: "United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 is an anti-Israel, anti-Jewish attempt on behalf of Pro-Palestinian nations to delegitimize Israel and ethnically cleanse East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria of the Jewish people. I am proud to join with Congresswoman Granger to introduce the Safeguard Israel Act. It is disgraceful that the United Nations Security Council passed this resolution at the start of Hanukkah; a celebration of the Macabees' fight for freedom on this same very land that this resolution seeks to remove the Jewish people from. The United Nations is becoming a force for everything it was created to fight against. This resolution shamefully crosses a red line and the United States should suspend any more funding to the United Nations until this resolution is repealed."
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
  • May 2, 2017: "I expressed my concern to the Secretary General about the blatant and systematic anti-Israel bias we see at UNESCO, the Human Rights Council and elsewhere at the UN. I told him that I support his commitment to reforming the UN and urged him to do more to protect whistleblowers, like Miranda Brown, and that Congress stands ready, willing and able to help him push reforms forward. I also asked that he use his influence and voice to speak more forcefully against the Maduro and Castro regimes and their continued human rights abuses and to call on Iran to release its hostages, including the Namazis and Nizar Zakka."
  • February 2, 2017: "We must also take a long, hard look at what our role at the United Nations is. That is why I intend on reintroducing legislation that would address the need for reforms at the United Nations, because it is clear that engagement with the UN over these past few years has only served to legitimize its anti-Israel agenda... We could all be in agreement that the body meant to promote and defend human rights worldwide should not be controlled by nations that have some of the worst human rights records. And it makes sense that the body tasked with ensuring the protection of cultural and historical heritage should not be used as a political tool to deny or erase the cultural and historical ties of a people to their homeland. Too many continue to see the United Nations for what it is supposed to be not for what it is unwilling to come to the hard realization that we need to take a drastic new approach if we are to salvage its mission. It has become a politicized tool used more to block action or maintain the status quo. And it has become the place where the world's dictators come together to demonize Israel, because it's easy."
Congressman Francis Rooney
  • June 22, 2017: "Now is the time to re-evaluate United States support for the U.N. Human Rights Council...Unless the UNHRC undertakes the reforms, the United States should withdraw its membership and its funding, and seek other more legitimate avenues to defend human rights. Tillerson floated the idea of replacing our participation in the UNHRC with our promoting human rights on a multilateral basis, working with like-minded partners. This idea presents a meritorious alternative in the absence of serious reform to legitimize the UNHRC."
Minister of Knesset Yair Lapid
  • March 16, 2017: "Europe and the United States must make it unequivocally clear that as long as the campaign of incitement by the UN and its institutions against Israel does not stop, they will stop supporting this organization that has long ago ceased to fulfill its role....This week I held a series of meetings in Washington aimed at stopping the funding to the UN and convincing the United States to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council and its annexes, and I will continue to do so until that happens."
Minister of Knesset and former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren
  • February 26, 2017: "U.S. decision to quit the insanely anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council would send a moral message to the world."
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
  • December 29, 2016: "'We should eliminate it, and I'll tell you something. We ought to take that money that's going to the U.N. and make it available to veterans who have served under the U.S. flag and make sure they get the benefits they need. We are getting zero benefits' from the U.N. and we are getting embarrassed by the actions of the U.N."