US slams UN discounts for wealthy nations | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 24, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 24, 2018


US slams UN discounts for wealthy nations

The United States on Saturday denounced at the United Nations a system of discounts for the peacekeeping assessments of wealthy nations, and confirmed Washington will pay no more than 25 percent.

The comments came a day after UN member states failed to reach a deal to make up for a $220 million budget black hole left by Washington's downsizing of its peacekeeping contributions.

The discounts demonstrate an "urgent need to reform," said Cherith Norman Chalet, the US Ambassador for UN Management and Reform, referring to countries whose "per capita income is more than twice the average of the organization's membership."

She did not identify those countries.

Her comments came during the adoption of a resolution renewing until 2021 contributions to the UN operating budget, which is $5.4 billion for 2018-19, and to the peacekeeping budget of $6.6 billion annually.

The United States is the largest contributor, whose share is 22 percent of the operating budget and 28 percent for peacekeeping.

President Donald Trump announced in September, however, that Washington would pay no more than 25 percent for Blue Helmet operations.

Washington has been trying to convince several countries to reduce their discounts in order to cover the $220 million annually which Washington no longer wants to pay.

Peacekeeping financing is determined by a complicated formula that takes into account a country's wealth, its standing as a permanent Security Council member and other factors.

"These discounts are without justification and have no basis in any methodology and should be eliminated," Chalet said.

"Nearly half of member states receive an 80 percent discount to their assessments on the peacekeeping scale."

Diplomats said that, in their quest for a better sharing of the financial burden, the US had approached Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Singapore, Brunei, Brazil, Mexico and India.

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