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EU Criticizes U.S. For Slashing UN Contribution

EU foreign-affairs chief Federica Mogherini

The European Union's top diplomat has criticized the United States for slashing its United Nations funding by $640 million, saying peaceful solutions to global problems are as important as military ones.

The U.S. budget through September approved by Congress last week cut $640 million from UN agencies, while it added $15 billion to the U.S. military budget.

EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini told the UN Security Council on May 9 that the EU voluntarily contributes about half the budget of most UN agencies because it views the World Health Organization, the World Food Program, the UNICEF children's agency, and other bodies as essential for peace.

"It is essential for us that we all keep investing in these UN agencies," she said. "They are as important to global peace and security as defense spending -- and sometimes even more. And we, Europeans, consider this support to the UN system as a crucial investment in our own security."

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley made no mention of budget cuts in her speech before the UN on May 9, instead urging stronger and more punitive action against Syria, North Korea, and Iran.

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, and Reuters