President Trump used his inaugural address at the United Nations on Monday to criticize the world body for not living up to its “potential” because of bureaucracy and urged member nations to reject “business as usual” and take “bold stands.”
“In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement, ” Trump said at the 72-year-old organization during a meeting on reforms.
Despite a ballooning budget and a doubling of staff since 2000, Trump said, “We are not seeing the results in line with this investment” and encouraged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to focus more on people than bureaucracy.
“We seek a United Nations that regains the trust of people from around the world,” the president said in his tightly scripted five-minute address. “In order to achieve this, the UN must hold every level of management accountable, protect whistle-blowers and focus on results rather than on process.”
“We encourage all member states to look at ways to take bold stands at the United Nations with an eye toward changing business as usual and not being beholden to ways of the past, which were not working,” he said, pledging the US would be a full partner in the reform efforts.
Trump, who will address the General Assembly on Tuesday, also said none of the 193 member nations should shoulder a “disproportionate share of the burden — militarily or financially.”
And he called for creating “clearly defined goals and metrics for evaluating the success” of the UN’s peacekeeping mission around the globe.
With the changes, Trump said, “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.”
In his address, Guterres said what keeps him up at night is the ” bureaucracy … fragmented structures, Byzantine procedures and endless red tape” of the UN.
“I even sometimes ask myself whether there was a conspiracy to make our rules exactly what they need for us not to be effective,” he said.
Later Monday, Trump was expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Emmanuel Macron.