Haley on Countries That Oppose US at the UN: ‘Why Should We Give Them a Single Penny?’

Patrick Goodenough | August 29, 2018 | 4:09am EDT
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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley speaks at the United Nations in New York. (Screen capture/C-SPAN)

(CNSNews.com) – U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley recalled Tuesday that on her arrival at the United Nations she was confronted by “resentment” towards the U.S. from countries that were happy to take American aid, prompting her to draw President Trump’s attention to the voting records of countries that receive U.S. assistance.

“You have many countries that have their hands out but yet they scold you at the same time, and then expect you to be all things to all of them,” Haley said at an event at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in Washington.

“That obviously was a disappointment that we needed to fix quickly – and fix by letting them understand this was a new day in our country.”

Haley said she went to Trump armed with data and “showed him every country and the money we give them, and then I showed him the voting sheet …”

She was not arguing for using U.N. voting records solely as a factor when considering aid decisions – but that they should be taken into account.

“What we should do is, the countries that we give money to, do they believe what we believe? Are they still actually wanting to be our partner and work with us?” Haley said. “If they’re not, and they’re shouting, ‘Death to America,’ why would we give them a single penny?”

(Haley also pointed to steps the administration is taking to defund “those things that are not helpful to us” at the U.N. itself, pointing to the decision to target the Human Rights Council and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for funding cuts.)

Haley cited Pakistan as an example of U.S. taxpayers’ dollars going to countries that act against U.S. interests.

“We were giving a billion dollars to Pakistan and they were harboring terrorists that were killing our soldiers,” she said. “I mean, at some point you have to look and say, we’re hurting ourselves by giving money. And if they want to be a partner with us, they need to quit harboring terrorists.”

“So there’s multiple examples like that,” Haley added. “You’ll continue to see the president puts into place to make sure that we are funding and helping the countries that are helping us back.”

Last January, Haley confirmed that the administration was withholding $255 million in aid to Islamabad and said that the president was willing to “go to great lengths to stop all funding [for] Pakistan as they continue to harbor and support terrorism.”

That same month the Pentagon said it was suspending up to $900 million in Coalition Support Funds for Pakistan, also stressing the need for it to act against terrorists operating against U.S. forces, including the Taliban and Haqqani Network in Afghanistan.

In her comments at the FDD, Haley referred to U.N. voting records.

Each year the State Department provides Congress with a report that tracks countries’ recorded votes at the U.N. General Assembly and U.N. Security Council, and compares them to the positions taken by the U.S. in each instance.

The reports provide as a percentage each country’s “voting coincidence” with the U.S. – that is, the number of times that country and the U.S. both voted “yes,” both voted “no,” or both abstained, in a particular recorded vote.

Countries that regularly vote against positions taken by the U.S. include some of the biggest beneficiaries of U.S. foreign assistance.

The most recent report, for example, shows that of the 13 countries that received – or are expected to receive – the most U.S. aid in fiscal years 2017, 2018 and 2019, twelve of them had a voting coincidence with the U.S. of below 25 percent in 2017.

The twelve countries, listed from lowest to highest voting coincidence with the U.S., are: South Africa (18 percent), Zambia (19 percent), Kenya (20 percent), Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Tanzania and Uganda (all 21 percent), Jordan and Nigeria (both 22 percent) and Pakistan (24 percent).

The noteworthy exception was Israel, whose 94 percent voting coincidence with the U.S. was the highest of all 192 other U.N. member-states.

As CNSNews.com has reported, similar patterns have been evident in previous years as well.

The FDD on Tuesday honored Haley with its annual Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Statesmanship Award, named for the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, during President Reagan’s first term (1981-1985.) Kirkpatrick was involved in the founding of the FDD and a member of its board of directors until her death in 2006.

FDD said Haley “has brought a precise moral compass and a distinctly American voice to the United Nations.”

“Ambassador Haley has been a powerful advocate for human rights, U.S. national security, and U.N. reform. We are deeply thankful for her service and patriotism.”

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