U.S. funding cuts to UN agencies would be costly for peace and security

Julian Egan writes: The draft executive order from the new US administration that would slash a minimum of 40% of funding to multilateral institutions, such as the UN and the World Bank, threatens deep and destabilising consequences for the international system and the people it aims to help. And it won’t help the US, either.

This comes in a year where the UN secretary general will give special attention to how the UN can meet its core mandate on peace and security, culminating in a global session on sustaining peace in September.

Looking at the violent conflict and suffering around the world, it is obvious that the UN and other international institutions can do better. But the UN and the World Bank do matter as the only global institutions dedicated to finding solutions to transnational threats and challenges that affect us all, whether that is violent extremism, Ebola or climate change.

After all, one of the reasons the second world war broke out was the failure of the League of Nations, which the US did not ultimately join, despite being one of its key architects. After the war claimed tens of millions of lives, the UN was created to “save future generations from the scourge of war”. For all the organisation’s failings, on the whole it has played a central role in creating common responses to global ills. [Continue reading…]

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