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WHO is not the only one US broke up with, thanks to Trump

US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC (Photo: Bloomberg)Premium
US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC (Photo: Bloomberg)

  • Since assuming office in January 2017, Trump has pulled the US out of many global organisations and treaties — the most notable being the 2015 Paris Climate Accord and Iran nuclear deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

NEW DELHI: US President Donald Trump on Friday announced the termination of the country's relationship with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and said would divert the $450 million, which is America's annual contribution to the WHO, to other organisations and groups. The announcement came days after he wrote a four page letter to the WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, demanding that the organisation announce reforms within 30 days on the back of growing tensions between the US and China over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act," Trump said.

“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating the relationship," Trump told a press conference on Friday.

Earlier this month, the World Health Assembly (WHA) of member states agreed that there should be a thorough review of the organisation’s response to the pandemic.

Since assuming office in January 2017, Trump has pulled the US out of many international organisations and treaties — the most notable being the 2015 Paris Climate Accord and Iran nuclear deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Mint looks at some of the key treaties and organisations the US has exited since Trump took charge .

1. Paris Accord on climate change

Signed by the previous Obama administration in 2015, the pact obliged the US to cut green house gas emissions by 26-28% by 2025 from 2005 levels. Trump withdrew from the pact in 2017, stating that the agreement was not in tune with American workers and that talk of climate change and global warming is a hoax. TheUS is the world’s second-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind only China, and is by far the largest cumulative greenhouse gas emitter in history. With the US outside the Paris agreement, the pact covers only about 80 %of global greenhouse gas emissions and puts pressure on countries like India and China to do more to emit less green house gases.

2. The Iran nuclear deal

In May 2018, Trump announced US exit from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or the Iran nuclear deal and announced the reimposition of sanctions on Iran. The 2015 pact was signed between Iran and the world ( represented by the US, China, UK, France, Russia and Germany) and was aimed at denying the Shia majority country the ability to build nuclear weapons. During the run up to the November 2016 elections, Trump had dismissed the deal as “insane" and “ridiculous."

3. Trans-Pacific Partnership

This was the first agreement Trump walked out of after being sworn in as the president. By exiting 12-nation TPP, he fulfilled one of his electoral promises which he said was aimed at saving US jobs. This was another pact signed during the Obama administration. Drafted in 2015, the trade deal covered nearly 40 % of the world’s economy and was negotiated by countries like the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, among others with an aim to boost growth, improve economic ties and reduce tariffs. Following the US withdrawal, the remaining 11 countries renegotiated parts of the TPP and later signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), also known as TPP-11.

4. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation

Trump pulled the US out of UNESCO in 2017, citing “anti-Israel bias" as Washington was upset with the UNESCO for granting full membership to Palestine. Trump backed Israel’s demand that membership should have been granted only after working out a peace deal in the Middle East.

5. United Nations Human Rights Council

The US pulled out of the body in 2018 citing it as a "hypocritical" body that "makes a mockery of human rights." Formed in 2006, the Geneva-based council has faced criticism in the past for allowing member countries with questionable human rights records. Announcing the decision, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley described the council as a "hypocritical and self-serving organisation" that displayed "unending hostility towards Israel." She was speaking alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who denounced the council as "a protector of human rights abusers".

Reuters contributed to this story.

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