UN Passes Budget Despite US, Israeli Opposition
The United Nations finally passed its 2021 budget after much deliberation and contentious negotiations, which caused the United States and Israel to eventually vote no. The $3.2 billion agreement was approved with a 167-2 majority, with the two countries opposing the proposal because of its inclusion of funds allocated to commemorate the 20-year-old Durban Declaration and the Program of Action adopted at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism. Israel and the US claim that the declaration and resolutions passed at the conference reeked of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel biases, and condemned the international body for promoting “a shameful legacy of hate.” The special 2001 meeting held in the third-largest South African city devolved into mutual accusations of wrongdoing and repeated clashes between Jerusalem and Washington and the Arab world. A draft resolution that singled out Israel for criminal activity and likened Zionism to racism was denounced by Israel and the US and was later dropped from the final documents.