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US weighs cuts to global funding, pullout from treaties: NYT
[UNITED NATIONS, United States] US President Donald Trump is considering drastic funding cuts to international organisations and a review of treaties that could lead to a US withdrawal, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
The new administration is preparing two executive orders, drafts of which were obtained by the newspaper, that could deprive the United Nations and other organisations of billions of dollars.
The first draft order calls for scrapping all funding to any UN agency or international body that gives full membership to the Palestinians, or supports programmes that fund abortion or any activity that circumvents sanctions against Iran or North Korea.
It would also terminate funding to organisations that are "controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism," or are blamed for systematic violations of human rights.
The order calls for an overall decrease of at least 40 per cent in all other US funding to international organisations and sets up a committee to look specifically at US financial contributions for UN peacekeeping operations.
The United States is by far the UN's biggest financial contributor, providing 22 per cent of its operating budget and funding 28 per cent of peacekeeping missions, which currently cost US$7.8 billion annually.
A US funding cut to peacekeeping would deal a severe blow to the 16 peace missions worldwide, most of which are in Africa.
The second order calls for a review of all current and pending multilateral treaties and requests recommendations on which negotiations or treaties the United States should leave.
This review applies to treaties that are not "directly related to national security, extradition or international trade," according to the draft.
The Paris climate deal could be affected by the proposed order.
Mr Trump has openly questioned climate change and campaigned on a pledge to renege on US commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help finance the transition to a green economy.
"Taken together, the orders suggest that Mr Trump intends to pursue his campaign promises of withdrawing the United States from international organisations," wrote the Times.