By Oluwatomike Adeboyejo

Students from this university banded together to stand against President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut United Nations funding in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

“We think it’s important that people feel compelled to take some sort of action, whether that being writing to representatives, having an in-district meeting or even just posting something on social media supporting the U.N. because this is the time elected officials are going to listen to their constitutions,” said Bailey Dinman, president of the United Nations Association, Maryland Chapter.

This university’s student branch representing the U.N. hosted an event called “A Fight for U.N. Funding” April 12. The advocacy event was created to educate students about the implications  of President Trump’s proposal to cut funding from the U.N. in the 2017-18 fiscal year budget.

“When we heard the news that this administration was planning on making huge cuts to the United Nations, it really concerned us,” said Aaron Dane, vice president of Maryland’s chapter of the U.N. Association. “Organizations like the United Nations … invest deeply into the lives of millions of people who don’t have the resources that we have here in the United States.”

Trump’s intentions to defund the U.N. will impact programs geared toward improving education, maternal needs and climate change in developing countries. Over 200 million people depend on the U.N. and its affiliate programs to deliver humanitarian aid, protect human rights and keep peace in their country.

“[The U.N. gives people] the right to raise a family that is not threatened by violence and [government instability], the right to get an education and the right to participate in their community,” Dane said.

The U.S. position as a top contributor to the U.N. has played a vital role in ensuring the U.S. remains a leading world power. The federal budget dedicated 0.1 percent of funding to the U.N., according to the Better World Campaign.  

Financial support allows the U.S. to remain a major player in shaping the development of over 150 countries, according to the U.N. This has allowed the U.S. to influence the mandates of the U.N. and encourage the core principals of U.S. objectives to flourish. Trump’s actions can potentially affect how the world perceives America’s foreign policy concerns and needs.

“I do not think the administration is thinking long-term. I think they are thinking short term,” said senior public health major Priti Rayamajha. “If we are not supporting third world countries, it could come back and bite us.”

The budget is not expected to pass until October. This university’s student branch of the U.N. Association intends to encourage and educate students about the implications Trump’s proposal budget would have if passed. Members of the organization hope students will speak up against the proposal and help influence Congress to cut spending in a different way.

“Trump is taking away the means developing nations have to establish organizations that help the community to function and sustain itself,” said Omar Joyce, a junior letters and sciences major. “There are definitely other ways to revise the budget. This isn’t the way.”

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Oluwatomike Adeboyejo is a junior journalism major and can be reached at tm.adeboyejo@gmail.com.

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