UNITED NATIONS — President Trump urged the UN to adopt wide-ranging reforms Monday, saying its potential has been marred by “bureaucracy and mismanagement.” He also delivered a stern warning that the U.S. has not seen results in line with additional investment in the bloated international body.
Trump gave his remarks at a U.S.-led meeting on reform, noting that while the UN was founded on “truly noble goals” and has advanced them in many ways, it has lost its way.
“Yet in recent years the UN has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement while the United Nation’s regular budget has increased by 140 percent and its staff has more than doubled since 2000,” he said. “We are not seeing results in line with this investment.”
Trump has proposed deep cuts to the U.S. contributions to the UN — a move that U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in June sent “shockwaves” through the UN.
Trump called on UN reforms to “hold every level of management accountable, protect whistleblowers, and focus on results rather than process.” He also said that no member state should shoulder a “disproportionate share of the burden” and that every peacekeeping mission should have clearly defined goals and metrics for success.
Trump also praised new Secretary-General António Guterres for his efforts in pushing reform, and called him “fantastic.”
“We commend the Secretary-General and his call for the United Nations to focus more on people and less on bureaucracy,” Trump said.
Guterres has presented himself as a reformer and was nominated to the position last year as such. In his remarks, Guterres said that “bureaucracy, fragmented structures, byzantine procedures [and] endless red tape” keep him awake at night.
“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,” he said. “I even sometimes ask myself whether there was a conspiracy to make our rules exactly what they need to be for us not to be effective.”
The U.S. circulated a draft declaration of support for UN reform last week, and U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said they have so far managed to get 128 nations to sign on to the document, calling that response “nothing short of fantastic.”
However, as Breitbart News reported Sunday, Russia and China are among the nations who have not yet signed on — foreshadowing a potential stalemate in the U.S.-backed reform efforts. Haley noted that there was still work to be done to convince those nations to sign on and called on members to “seize this moment” for reform.
Referring to Guterres, Haley said that “we share the goal of a better United Nations. Not a cheaper UN or a more expensive UN, not smaller one or a bigger one. A better United Nations.”
Trump will address the UN’s General Assembly on Tuesday, and it is expected that he will make UN reform one of his main points during that address.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics and U.N. reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY