At end of Trump salvo, US throws UN budget on Israel and Iran

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United Nations (United States) (AFP)

President Donald Trump’s outgoing administration on Thursday launched a late salute against the United Nations by voting against its budget, citing disagreements over Israel and Iran, but found virtually no international support.

Only Israel voted with the United States, with 167 countries in favor, as the General Assembly closed the year by approving the UN budget of $ 3.231 billion for 2021.

Kelly Craft, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, has objected that the budget will fund an event for the 20th anniversary of the 2001 United Nations Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa, where the states -United came out in solidarity with Israel for what it said was a fixation of majority Muslim countries against the Jewish state.

The United States, the UN’s largest funder, “called for this vote to make it clear that we stand by our principles, stand up for what is right and never accept consensus for the sake of consensus,” he said. declared Craft at the General Assembly.

“Twenty years later, there is nothing left in the Durban Declaration to celebrate or endorse. It is poisoned by anti-Semitism and anti-Israel prejudices, ”she said.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan says Durban conference “will become another meeting demonizing the Jewish state – it will be used once again to slander us and make false accusations of racism against Jewish self-determination. ”

The General Assembly separately approved a resolution supporting the follow-up efforts to the Durban conference.

This resolution was adopted 106-14 with 44 abstentions. The United States and Israel were joined in voting no by Western powers including Britain, France and Germany.

Craft also complained that the United States had received virtually no support from the world body in September when it said UN sanctions against Iran had returned to effect.

The Trump administration has said it is triggering UN sanctions over Iran’s alleged violations of a nuclear deal brokered by former President Barack Obama, but even American allies have laughed at the argument that Washington remained a participant in a deal Trump had strongly rejected.

“The United States doesn’t need an encouragement section to validate its moral compass,” Craft said.

“We find no solace based on the number of nations voting with us, especially when the majority is in an uncomfortable position to endorse terrorism, chaos and conflict. ”

Craft said the US vote would not change its UN contribution, including 25% of peacekeeping spending and some $ 9 billion a year in humanitarian aid channeled by the UN.

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to seek a more cooperative relationship with the UN, including stopping a US exit from the World Health Organization, which Trump has accused of failing to do. not do more to stop Covid-19.

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