On “The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special” this week, the Daily Wire editor-in-chief speaks with former GOP South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley about her tenure as the United Nations ambassador and her impression of the international organization. Video and partial transcript below:
Shapiro: Do you think there is a purpose to the U.N.? Do you think it’s a useful organization? What should the U.S.’s involvement in the U.N. be?
Haley: The president actually asked me a year in, and said, “What do you think of the U.N., should we stay in?” And I said, “This is the thing, it’s wasteful, it’s bureaucratic, it’s a lot of talk and not as much action. There’s resentment. We’re being taken advantage of. But we would not have gotten those three North Korean sanctions packages and had the international community all on the same page against North Korea without the U.N.” So, I think the American people are going to decide, I don’t know that I’ve decided yet.
We pushed some really big reforms in the first year, we were able to cut $1.3 billion immediately. That was just low-hanging fruit. When people see the big U.N. building, they think ambassadors are in there. That’s just staff. You have thousands of people that work in that building, and it’s all because countries want their people in there. The staff has doubled in the last 10 years. That’s how ridiculous it is. The reforms were happening, we did work with the secretary general. It was starting, but it’s got a long way to go. And the U.N., more importantly, has to change with the times. They can’t keep talking about old issues they’ve always wanted to talk about. They have to take on issues like Venezuela which they didn’t want to do. They have to take on those issues with Iran and call it out the way it is. In any way for them to continue to be relevant, they have to do what’s uncomfortable to do, and I don’t know if they’re willing to do that.
Shapiro: That’s been my main criticism of the U.N., you look at the Human Rights Council and it’s filled with human rights violators. You look at the Women’s Rights Council, it’s filled with women’s rights violators. You look at the U.N. Security Council, and you have countries that have deep antipathy for the United States, trying to dictate policy to the United States while we foot the bill. And I just wonder wouldn’t we be better off working with the alliances that we’ve already forged? Working with NATO creating a new league of democracies? Doing something like that.
Haley: And I think it may come to that, because when you look, yes were we able to move the ball. But it is what you make it. But for all the heat we took, and the resentment, and the part that bothered me — I always tried to show value to the citizens because they were paying for it. But the part that bothers me is we pay so much money. China doesn’t pay much because they’re considered a developing country. They’re not a developing country. We only have five vetoes, which can stop anything. It’s the permanent members. It’s the U.K. France, U.S., China, and Russia, they can stop anything. The Russian veto was one of the hardest parts about my job. They pay less than 6 percent, we pay 22 percent of operating now, it was 28. Now it’s 25 percent of peacekeeping. That’s an enormous amount. And they’re getting that veto for very little. So, it’s not fair, it’s not a fair scenario. We made it very clear something was going to have to give. I still think we need to hold them to that standard. If they don’t make the changes, we should strongly look at the fact of “are we getting this.” Now Beijing would love to have it, fine. If Beijing wants to have it let them have it. I don’t want us to give more than 25 percent. The U.N. shouldn’t want us to give more than 25 percent. It’s not healthy for any organization, so it has to change with the times. And right now, it’s choosing to be archaic and stuck.