‘America 1st’ Does Not Mean America Alone, but America Leads
President Donald Trump’s policy of “America 1st does not mean America alone,” Vice President Mike Pence told the UN Security Council Wednesday as he urged reform to make peacekeeping missions more efficient, effective, accountable and credible.
The 15-member council discussed how to improve peacekeeping operations during the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.
There are currently 15 UN peacekeeping missions, costing more than $7.3-B for the next year.
Since January, the US’ UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has led a push to cut costs and is reviewing the mandate of each operation as annual mandates come up for renewal by the Security Council.
President Trump wants to cap the US share of the peacekeeping bill at 25%, down from 28.5%, a mark he says is “Unfair.”
The United States is a Veto-wielding member of the council, along with Britain, France, Russia and China.
“Peacekeeping missions must support a political solution; have the consent of the host country; its mandates must be realistic and achievable; every mission must have an exit strategy; and the United Nations peacekeeping missions must adjust to progress and failure,” VP Pence said.
“In short, when a mission succeeds, we should not prolong it. When a mission underperforms, we should restructure it. And when a mission consistently fails to fulfill the mandates of this council, we should end it,” he said.
The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution Wednesday pushing for improved accountability, transparency and effectiveness and to make peacekeepers more flexible.
Critics worry that harsh cuts could harm operations in volatile African states.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has pledged to make UN peacekeeping more efficient, but has noted that the current budget to fund it is less than 1/2 of 1% of global military spending.
“Across the years and across the globe, 55 peacekeeping operations have successfully completed their mandate,” Mr. Guterres told the council Wednesday. “Many political missions have done the same.”
He appealed for the Security Council to ensure mandates for missions were clear and that operations were well equipped.
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