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UN: Trump Budget Cuts Would Make It 'Impossible' For UN To Keep Working

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

U.S. President Donald Trump's proposal to slash funding for the United Nations would make it "impossible" to continue its work, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on May 24.

Trump proposed slashing U.S. diplomacy and aid by about one-third or $19 billion. UN peacekeeping funding would drop by $1 billion and international organizations would be cut by 44 percent.

"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," said Dujarric.

Congress has the final say on U.S. spending, and top lawmakers say they do not support such drastic cuts.

The United States is the biggest UN contributor, paying 22 percent of the $5.4 billion core budget and 28.5 percent of the $7.9 billion peacekeeping budget.

Trump has said the U.S. share is "unfair." But he has also said the U.S. contribution would be worthwhile if the UN did a more effective job.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "is totally committed to reforming the United Nations," Dujarric said. "We stand ready to discuss with the United best we can create a more cost-effective organization."

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters