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EU urges U.S. not to cut U.N. funds, stay committed to climate deal

Staff Writer |
The European Union urged the United States to keep funding U.N. agencies and stay committed to a global deal combating climate change as Washington pushed the 28-state bloc to increase its pressure on Syria, North Korea and Iran.

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U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed an unspecified reduction in funding for the United Nations and its agencies, as well as enforcement of a 25 percent cap on U.S. funding for peacekeeping operations.

Agencies such as the U.N. children's agency UNICEF, the World Food Progamme and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR are funded voluntarily by governments and the United States is a top contributor to many of them.

"Let me be very clear, and speak directly to our American friends. It is essential for us that we all keep investing in these U.N. agencies.

"They are as important to global peace and security as defense spending – or even more," EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini told the U.N. Security Council.

She said EU funding amounted to half the agencies' total budgets and was a contribution "to our own common security."

Washington also pays 22 percent of the $5.4 billion core U.N. budget and 28.5 percent of the $7.9 billion peacekeeping budget.

These assessed contributions are agreed by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly.

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