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Resources updated Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October 23, 2018

Voting results shown on screens at the front of the U.N. General Assembly hall (File photo)

"The United Nations is not friendly ground for the United States. Last year, less than one-third of the votes taken in the U.N. General Assembly supported the U.S. position.

Think that's because of the Trump administration's 'assault on multilateralism'? Think again. Since 1980, the General Assembly on average has backed the U.S. in only 35 percent of the votes taken.
No wonder that President Donald Trump and Nikki Haley, his U.N. ambassador for most of his term, have expressed frustration over countries that receive generous amounts of U.S. aid, only to vote against U.S. interests in Turtle Bay. Trump has now asked Congress to pass legislation to make sure that U.S. assistance 'always serve American interests, and only go to America's friends.'
As Haley made clear, 'U.N. votes should never be the only factor in our foreign aid decisions. We have many interests that go beyond the U.N. But they should be one of the factors, and we are determined to start making that connection.'

She's right. The deliberate decision not to weigh U.N. voting in aid allocation decisions must change. Currently, more than 400 legislative directives must be considered in aid allocation. These factors include the potential impact on the environment, labor standards, nutrition, disease, small businesses, human rights, drug trafficking, terrorism, and a host of other issues or subsets of those concerns. There are even a dozen directives involving what goes on at the United Nations - but voting patterns is not one of them.

The notion that opposition to U.S. interests in the United Nations should not be a factor - not even one of 400 factors considered in allocating U.S. assistance - is ludicrous. Every session, the U.N. considers resolutions that could damage U.S. interests and our diplomats there should have as many tools at their disposal as reasonable to influence other countries, including foreign aid..."

America Needs More Financial Leverage at the United Nations Article