Donald Trump slashes funding to UN in retaliation against Jerusalem vote

The United States has hit back at the UN after being roundly rebuked over President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

An overwhelming majority of 128 states, including New Zealand, voted last week to condemn the US over its controversial decision. 

In a statement released this week, the US revealed it would be slashing over NZ$300m in funding to the international body, as well as more unspecified cuts to follow.   

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley reportedly told the assembly: "We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of," The Guardian reports.

Mrs Haley continued: "When we are called upon to once again make the world's largest contribution to the United Nations, and we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit."

Under the current system, the US is responsible for 22 percent of the UN's annual operating budget, or over NZ$1.7b in 2017, and 28.5 percent of the cost of peacekeeping operations, estimated at NZ$9.6b. 

Mr Trump alluded to these cuts in a cabinet meeting on December 20, when the UN vote to whether to condemn the US was discussed, reportedly saying to staff: "Let them vote against us. We'll save a lot. We don't care."