UN chief heads to Washington as US plans to cover only quarter of peacekeeping budget

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres heads to Washington on Wednesday for talks on the UN peacekeeping budget as the US says it will cover no more than 25 percent of the total cost. The US, which is the number one financial contributor to the UN, said in December that it would cover no more than 25 percent of its multi-billion-dollar peacekeeping budget, down from 28.47 percent. Guterres will be meeting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton for talks that are also expected to touch on Yemen and Venezuela, AFP reports. On Thursday, the UN chief will attend Congress for meetings on the budget. US cost-cutting has created a hole of about $220 million in this year’s $6.7 billion budget. The shortfall has been also compounded by arrears that have pushed peacekeeping finances further into the red.