President Donald Trump has made his first address to the United Nations, taking the opportunity to tell the intergovernmental organisation that it is not living up to its potential.
The American leader, who will deliver a longer speech on Tuesday at the UN General Assembly, called on member states to take a “bold stand” to change the way the organisation operates.
He said the US’ 28.5 percent share of the UN’s peacekeeping bill was unfair and that no state should bear a disproportionate amount of the costs.
We commend SG
AntonioGuterres</a> & his call for the UN to focus more on people & less on bureaucracy. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USAatUNGA?src=hash">#USAatUNGA</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UNGA?src=hash">#UNGA</a> <a href="https://t.co/KVvCMznmcN">https://t.co/KVvCMznmcN</a> <a href="https://t.co/UQn6RrC9Xw">pic.twitter.com/UQn6RrC9Xw</a></p>— Donald J. Trump (realDonaldTrump) 18 September 2017
Trump said: “In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement. The United Nations budget has increased by 120 percent and its staff has more than doubled since 2000, we are not seeing the results in line with US investments.”
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres agreed that there was work to be done, sazing that he was kept awake at night bz the thought of red tape.
He said: “To serve the people we support and the people that support us, we must be nimble and effective, flexible and efficient.
“Someone out to undermine the UN could not have come up with a better way to do it than by imposing some of the rules we have created ourselves.”
Under pressure from the Trump administration, the UN has already slashed its budget by $500 million. However, the US president still feels his country is not get enough bang for its buck.
The organisation was on the receiving end of some harsh criticism from Trump during his presidential campaign.
In 2016, he spoke of its “utter weakness and incompetence”.
During Tuesday’s speech at the UN General Assembly in New York, Trump is expected to call for a harder line on North Korea and Iran.
The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 26 December 2016