The United States and most Western donors have traditionally exercised their financial clout to threaten developing nations who refuse to fall in line on critical UN voting either in the Security Council, the General Assembly or the Human Rights Council.
The unwritten rule, exercised off and on, warns: if you don’t play ball with us, we will penalize you by reducing or cutting off aid.
When Yemen, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, voted against a US-sponsored resolution to militarily oust Iraq from Kuwait back in 1990, the US blowback will remain forever in the UN’s institutional memory.
No sooner Yemen cast its negative vote, the US ambassador turned to the Yemeni envoy and famously said: “That will be the most expensive ‘no’ vote you will ever cast”.
And Washington, almost overnight, decided to cut off some $70 million in development and military aid to Yemen, then a close American ally.
n her maiden press briefing, the new US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, implicitly threatened member states who defy Washington on US-sponsored resolutions, and probably on anti-Israeli resolutions.
“Our goal with the administration is to show value at the UN, and the way that we’ll show value is to show our strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies, and make sure that our allies have our back, as well,” she told reporters.
“For those who don’t have our back”, she warned “we’re taking names – we will make points to respond to that accordingly.”