UN Peacekeeping Operations

The Secretary of State Was Asked – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th July 2017.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South 12:00 am, 11th July 2017

What assessment he has made of the potential effect of proposed reductions to US financial contributions to the UN budget on the delivery of UN peacekeeping operations.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development), Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Joint with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

We should pay tribute to what the United States has done with its peacekeeping budget. It provides well over a quarter of the global peacekeeping budget: over $2 billion a year, which is not “odable”. We need to pay tribute to the US and to encourage it to continue to play a role, as it is a central part of peacekeeping worldwide. Its sticking to the congressional limit of 25% is vital for UN peacekeeping operations.

Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

Does the Minister agree that the loss of financial support from the US will be devastating for UN agencies such as the World Food Programme and the UN Refugee Agency? Will he therefore urge the Trump Administration to reconsider their planned cuts?

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development), Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Joint with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

It is absolutely right, of course, that in the current global situation, UN peacekeeping operations are vital, but reforms can be introduced. The move in Cote d’Ivoire to close down the peacekeeping operation and the changes in Darfur are welcome. We can reduce peacekeeping costs, but it is vital that the United States and others continue to play a strong role. American financial support has been vital for the past 50 years, and we hope that it will continue to be over the next 50.