Organizations such as UNESCO, the UN Human Rights Council and similar agreements are an abomination to Donald Trump. The arms control agreement “Open Skies” is the eighth international cooperation that he is turning his back on – an overview.
Next termination, please: The US government is withdrawing from the “Open Skies” agreement between NATO and former Warsaw Pact members. Reason: Since Russia no longer adheres to the commitments, the US is no longer bound by the treaty, said the US President Donald Trump. The “Open Skies” agreement allows the 34 signatory states, among other things, several observation flights per year in the airspace of the contracting parties. According to the German Ministry of Defense, “Open Skies” serve “arms control and confidence building”.
Most important contract for Europe: canceled
The phase-out is the United States’ third withdrawal from an arms control agreement. Last year, Trump had dropped out of the INF treaty banning land-based mid-range nuclear weapons. The latter was signed in 1987 between the United States and the then Soviet Union and was the most important nuclear disarmament treaty in Europe. The termination of the nuclear agreement with Iran two years ago led to considerable tensions with the regime in Tehran until the corona crisis. Trump had always considered the laboriously negotiated contract the “worst deal” in US history.
In addition, a number of other international commitments have already fallen victim to the US President’s “America first” policy:
- Unseco. At the end of 2017, the United States had withdrawn from the UN cultural and educational organization Unesco. The US government cited the reason as a “fundamental reform” by Unesco. The United States had often criticized the World Authority’s allegedly critical of Israel.
- UN Human Rights Council. In the summer of 2018, the United States withdrew from the UN body, which includes 46 states. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the UNHRC “a poor human rights defender” after criticizing the US for its “zero tolerance” migration policy.
- UN aid agency for Palestine refugees. Also in summer 2018, the United States turned its back on UNRWA as the largest donor. The aid agency serves 5.6 million Palestinian refugees in the areas occupied by Israel as well as in Jordan, Lebanon and finances schools and hospitals, among others.
- Paris climate agreement. One of the most spectacular and far-reaching withdrawals was that of the global environmental agreement at the end of last year. Trump had announced the move in the election campaign because the agreement was too expensive and hindered competition, as the US President said.
- Trans-Pacific partnership. Donald Trump terminated the controversial trade agreement between Pacific states such as Australia, Chile, Singapore and the United States as the first official act in January 2017. The US President had thus initiated his “America First” policy.
Trump also wanted to leave the Universal Postal Union
Donald Trump also threatens to repeatedly leave international organizations. The exit from the Universal Postal Union, which regulates international mail and parcel traffic, was averted at the last minute. At the beginning of his term in office, the US head of state flirted with a withdrawal from NATO, but this idea seems to be off the table. Just like his repeated announcement to leave the World Trade Organization. However, this may not apply to their subsidiary organization GPA, which regulates and reviews the fair awarding of government contracts. It was only in early March that the US government complained that the agreement violated the United States disadvantageous.
The World Health Organization is now in the sights of the US President. Trump shares responsibility for the global corona pandemic. According to him, the WHO, as China’s “bailiff”, had “badly handled and disguised the crisis”. In mid-April, he announced that he would suspend payments until the role of WHO was clarified, and a month later threatened to leave WHO.
The USA give influence without need
Most observers view Trump’s retreat as strategically a mistake. Because the United States is giving away places and a say that other major powers are taking over. After Trump’s WHO payment freeze, China immediately announced billions of dollars for the world health system. China is now one of the organization’s major donors and can expand its influence accordingly. Pandemic loser: the United States once again.