Sept. 18 (UPI) — President Donald Trump told the United Nations on Monday that he sees “great potential” in reducing the world body’s bureaucracy and costs — and better defining its mission around the world.
Trump kicked off four days of meetings at U.N. headquarters in New York City at a panel called “Reforming the UN: Management, Security and Development.” Trump has long advocated reforms for the international coalition.
“I applaud the secretary general for laying out a vision to reform the United Nations so that it better serves the people we all represent,” Trump said during his four-minute speech. “We support your efforts to look across the entire system and to find ways the United Nations can better, and be better at development, management, peace and security.”
“In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement,” he added. “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. But I know that under the secretary general, that’s changing and it’s changing fast. And we’ve seen it.”
Trump reiterated concern that the United States is paying a disparate amount for the United Nations, as well as NATO.
“To honor the people of our nations, we must ensure that no one and no member state shoulders a disproportionate share of the burden, and that’s militarily or financially,” Trump said. “We also ask that every peacekeeping mission have clearly defined goals and metrics for evaluating success. They deserve to see the value in the United Nations, and it is our job to show it to them.”
The president stayed overnight at his Trump Tower, which is across the street from the U.N. building.
“I actually saw great potential right across the street, to be honest with you, and it was only for the reason that the United Nations was here that that turned out to be such a successful project,” Trump said during the U.N. meeting.
Nikki Haley, the world body’s U.S. ambassador, introduced the president.
“Donald Trump has a businessman’s eye for seeing potential, and he sees great potential — not just in the reform movement but in the United Nations itself,” Haley said. “He shares your commitment to creating a more effective advocate for peace, security and human rights. We are deeply grateful he has taken the time to be with us today.”
Tuesday morning, Trump will deliver his first address to the full U.N. General Assembly.
National security adviser H.R. McMaster said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump plans to “communicate his vision for America’s role in the world” in three areas — protecting American people, promoting American prosperity and promoting acc ountability and sovereignty.”
Trump arrived in Manhattan on Sunday night from Bedminister, N.J. This week, he will participate in a number of meetings with world leaders and representatives of about 120 nations.