In his first address to the United Nations, President Trump said Monday that the U.N. must cut its wasteful spending and end mismanagement.
“The United Nations was founded on truly noble goals,” Mr. Trump told diplomats at U.N. headquarters in New York. “Yet in recent years the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement.”
Mr. Trump said the U.N. budget has increased by 140 percent and its staff has more than doubled since 2000, but “we are not seeing the results in line with this investment.”
The president praised U.N. Secretary General António Guterres for undertaking reforms of the world body “to better serve the people it represents.”
“I know that under the secretary general, that’s changing, and it’s changing fast,” Mr. Trump said, adding that he supports the push “to focus more on people and less on bureaucracy.”
“We seek a United Nations that regains the trust of the people around the world,” the president said. “In order to achieve this, the United Nations must hold every level of management accountable, protect whistleblowers and focus on results rather than on process.”
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Similar to his call for NATO members to pay more of their fair share for the common defense, Mr. Trump urged the U.N. to pursue changes that will result in no member states shouldering a “disproportionate share” of military or financial burdens. He said peacekeeping missions must have “clearly defined goals” for its members.
“They deserve to see the value of the United Nations and it is our job to show it to them,” Mr. Trump said.
The president said the U.N. shouldn’t be beholden to “ways of the past, which were not working.”
The U.S. pays 22 percent, or $1.2 billion, of the U.N.’s regular budget, based on a formula calculated by the size of a country’s economy and other factors.
But the U.S. also pays for a dozen other U.N. agencies and operations, with peacekeeping as the largest. The U.S. share of that cost in 2016 was more than 28 percent, or $2.2 billion.