U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power urged the incoming administration of Donald Trump not to cut funding to the United Nations, warning that this would be detrimental to U.S. interests and benefit countries "like China and Russia."
"We lead the world, in part, by leading at the United Nations," Power said at her final press conference as ambassador to the UN on January 13.
Supporters of Israel in the U.S. Congress introduced bills to cut off UN funding after the adoption of a Security Council resolution last month condemning Israel's construction of settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want for their future state.
The United States pays 22 percent of the UN's regular operating budget and 25 percent of the budget for peacekeeping missions.
"We are in the room as a credible leader within the UN, which would become extremely hard to do if we were not contributing our share of funding," Power said.
A funding cut would leave the United States with its hands tied behind its back, she said, while undercutting efforts to advance peace, human rights, and other causes.
"This would be extremely detrimental to U.S. interests," she said.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP