According to the State Department’s report, UN’s General Assembly voted on 98 resolutions in 2017. In 31% of those votes, the results went the way the United States voted, which is 10% less than in 2016. This is the 34th such annual report published by Washington.
Top ten countries that voted the same as the US are Israel, Micronesia, Canada, Marshall’s Islands, Australia, Great Britain, France, Palau, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic. Ten states that have voted against the US the most are Zimbabwe, Burundi, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Cuba, Bolivia, and the South African Republic.
“The American people pay 22 percent of the UN budget — more than the next three highest donor countries combined. In spite of this generosity, the rest of the UN voted with us only 31 percent of the time, a lower rate than in 2016. That’s because we care more about being right than popular and are once again standing up for our interests and values. Either way, this is not an acceptable return on our investment.” said Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN.
According to her, that is unacceptable. She reminded of her promise when she took the office that she will be mindful of the countries that oppose United States interest. Haley threatened to cut funding for countries that repeatedly vote against the US.
“President Trump wants to ensure that our foreign assistance dollars — the most generous in the world — always serve American interests, and we look forward to helping him see that the American people are no longer taken for granted,” she said.
However, there is an important caveat in the report that indicates the difference in opinions between the US and the rest of the world isn’t as drastic as it appears.
“The vast majority of resolutions in various UN bodies are approved by consensus where no votes were taken,” the report says. “Overall voting correlation between countries is highly dependent on the types of resolutions that come to a vote. For example, in the UNGA, Israeli-Palestinian issues account for approximately one-quarter of resolutions that are adopted with a vote, skewing the voting coincidence metrics for countries that oppose these resolutions.”
The difference can also be explained by the US frequent voting against resolutions proposed by other countries.
“In 2017, the United States voted against more UN General Assembly resolutions (71 percent) than any other UN member state,” the report says. “The average UN member state voted against six percent of resolutions. In 2016, the United States also voted against the most resolutions (58 percent).”