Trump's executive orders could have a huge impact on US involvement with its international allies
Trump’s new administration are set to review US involvement in international treaties and agreements and could cut United Nations (UN) funding by 40 per cent – putting aid and peacekeeping operations across the world in jeopardy.
Speaking on Newsnight, New York Times analyst Max Fisher said the White House is mulling over two executive orders which would see a massive reduction in US involvement with international partners on a range of issues.
The order would mandate a 40 per cent cut in all US funding towards the United Nations, any UN agency, or any other international organisation which would amount to billions of dollars
He said: “There are two executive orders that are in draft form that are circulating the White House now that they are currently planning to sign by the end of the week.
“The first one would review a huge subset of multilateral treaties that the United States is currently engaged in – it’s not really clear which of those treaties they have in mind but it looks like it opens up climate agreements and environmental agreements… to be abrogated.
Max Fisher, a New York Times analyst, speaking on Newsnight
“The second, and in some ways bigger one, is reviewing funding for the United Nations and this draft executive order, if signed, would do two things.
“First, it would terminate any US funding for any UN agency that needs a subset of conditions [including] any support for abortion programs; there are a few rules that are very vague – if it includes help for countries that opposed the United States then they would cut funding [although] no one really knows what that means.”
He continued: “But once they’ve done that, then the order would mandate a 40 per cent cut in all US funding towards the United Nations, any UN agency, or any other international organisation which would amount to billions of dollars.
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“It’s not clear where that cut would come from, but the order singles out peacekeeping, which is very concerning because the US upholds a huge amount of international peacekeeping.”
With the US involved in UN peacekeeping operations in 16 countries worldwide, including Cyprus, Lebanon and Mali.
Mr Fisher believes the US could significantly reduce its contribution to the UN
Mr Fisher believes these places “aren’t really in a great position to have UN peacekeepers leave suddenly because the United States no longer wishes to be part of the United Nations fully.
“The United States funds 27 per cent of UN peacekeeping operations, a lot of aid to refugees – these are programs that are already stretched extremely thin.”
In terms of climate change, the Fisher believes the Paris Climate Agreement “would be in the crosshairs” following Trump’s scepticism during his election campaign.
Fisher added: “It’s not unreasonable to expect him to use this as a mechanism to withdraw from it”.