Trump calls for United Nations reform
President Donald Trump used his United Nations debut Monday to prod the international organization to cut its bloated bureaucracy and sharpen its ill-defined mission. But he pledged U.S. support for the world body he had excoriated as a candidate, and his criticisms were more restrained than in years past.
“In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential due to bureaucracy and mismanagement,” Trump said. “We are not seeing the results in line with this investment.”
The president urged the U.N. to focus “more on people and less on bureaucracy” and to change “business as usual and not be beholden to ways of the past, which were not working.” He also suggested the U.S. was paying more than its fair share to keep the New York-based world body operational.
The short remarks at a forum on U.N. reforms were a precursor to Tuesday’s main event, when Trump will address the U.N. General Assembly for the first time, a speech nervously awaited by world leaders concerned about what the president’s “America first” vision means for the future of the world body.
Trump riffed on his campaign slogan when asked to preview his central message to the General Assembly, saying: “I think the main message is ‘make the United Nations great’ – not ‘again.’ Make the United Nations great.”
“Such tremendous potential, and I think we’ll be able to do this,” he added.
But even as the president chastised the U.N., he pledged that the United States would “be partners in your work” to make the organization a more effective force for peace across the globe.