Trump's ambassador to United Nations claims US forced cut to budget

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Nikki Haley is US ambassador to the United Nations (Source: Getty)

The US claims to have slashed its budget contribution to the United Nations (UN), in the latest salvo in a strained relationship between the world's most powerful nation and the most important intergovernmental organisation.

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the US had cut $285m (£213m) from the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The UN had previously announced it would cut its budget to $5.4bn, $200m less than the previous year, which secretary general Antonio Guterres described as part of his efforts to streamline the organisation. The budget was agreed on Sunday.

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The US mission to the UN also claimed it had reduced the "UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key US priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system."

Haley called the move an "historic reduction in spending" and said the US would continue to look for ways to increase the efficiency of the organisation, a pointed warning that it could use its financial muscle to exert further pressure on the UN.

In a statement Haley said: “The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known. We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked."

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While the UN headquarters in New York are only a short walk from Trump Tower, the residence of the US President, his administration has not seen eye to eye with the organisation.

The budget cut came after the UN's general assembly passed a resolution last week condemning the US decision to move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move by the administration of US President Donald Trump widely seen as inflammatory. Haley bemoaned the UN's "irresponsible ways" after the vote.

However, Trump has also showed some signs of wanting the UN's help on other matters: the President hailed the UN Security Council's decision to impose further sanctions on North Korea the following day.

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