President Trump Calls for United Nations Reform at 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly

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United States President Donald Trump, center, speaks while United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, left, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley watch during the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters.
United States President Donald Trump, center, speaks while United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, left, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley watch during the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters.

President Trump Calls for United Nations Reform at 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly

President Donald J. Trump is leading the United States’ delegation to the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York City this week, where he will participate in approximately 20 meetings with world leaders and other events. In addition to the President’s engagement, Administration staff and State Department officials will attend dozens of bilateral and multilateral meetings.

On September 18, 2017 --  the first day of “high-level week” -- President Trump delivered remarks at the Reforming the United Nations: Management, Security, and Development Meeting. Flanked by United Nations Secretary General António Guterres and United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, the President underscored the need for international cooperation on United Nations reform.

The President noted that while the United Nations has played a critical role in advancing international goals -- such as feeding the hungry, providing disaster relief, and empowering women and girls in many societies all across the world  -- the global body has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement. President Trump noted, “While the United Nations on a regular budget has increased by 140 percent, and its staff has more than doubled since 2000, we are not seeing the results in line with this investment.” The President looked toward the future with optimism noting Secretary General Guterres, this dynamic is changing quickly.

President Trump commended the Secretary General's call for the United Nations to focus "more on people and less on bureaucracy." The President emphasized the need for greater accountability, equal distribution of military and financial burdens, and clearly-defined goals for peacekeeping missions. He encouraged Member States to participate in UN proceedings with "an eye toward changing business as usual and not being beholden to ways of the past which were not working."  

The President underscored the United States’ support for this vision of United Nations reform. As he concluded his remarks, President Trump affirmed, “We pledge to be partners in your work, and I am confident that if we work together and champion truly bold reforms, the United Nations will emerge as a stronger, more effective, more just, and greater force for peace and harmony in the world.”

Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.com.

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