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Montevideo, September 25th 2018 - 17:14 UTC

UN warns Trump´s budget cut will make peacekeeping operations “impossible”

Thursday, May 25th 2017 - 07:23 UTC
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UN secretary general Antonio Guterres has been lobbying Congress members on the importance of international peacekeeping. UN secretary general Antonio Guterres has been lobbying Congress members on the importance of international peacekeeping.
Uruguay is one of the main military contributors to peacekeeping operations and has troops displayed in Africa and Asia  Uruguay is one of the main military contributors to peacekeeping operations and has troops displayed in Africa and Asia

The United Nations has warned that President Donald Trump's plans to cut contributions to peacekeeping will make such work “impossible”. The US administration signaled heavy cuts to UN operations, in its budget proposals released on Tuesday. The US foots more than a quarter of the UN's US$7.9bn peacekeeping bill.

A spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the organization was willing to discuss how peacekeeping could be made more cost-effective. Trump's budget proposal declares new “attention on the appropriate US share of international spending at the United Nations”.

The document does not provide a detailed breakdown, but Reuters news agency reports the drop in funding for the operations could amount to US$1bn.

The spokesman said the UN was studying Mr Trump's plan. “The figures presented would simply make it impossible for the UN to continue all of its essential work advancing peace, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance,” he said.

The US president does not set the budget, but makes recommendations to Congress. It is understood that the UN secretary general has been lobbying Congress members on the importance of international peacekeeping.

The US provides 28.5% of the United Nations peacekeeping budget - almost three times as much as the next-highest contributor, China. While Mr. Trump's plan does not include details, the US is known to want to cap its contributions to a maximum of 25%.

There are currently 16 active peacekeeping operations, including Syria, South Sudan, and on the border of India and Pakistan. Uruguay is the main manpower contributor of peace keeping forces per capita and eighth globally.

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