Trump: UN ‘Has Not Reached Its Full Potential Because of Bureaucracy and Mismanagement’

By Melanie Arter | September 18, 2017 | 12:25pm EDT
President Donald Trump, alongside UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, delivers speech at United Nations meeting on reform (Screenshot of White House video)

( – In his first appearance at the United Nations, President Donald Trump said bureaucracy and mismanagement are reasons why the world body has not reached its full potential.

During a meeting on UN reform, Trump said the UN has helped advance towards its goals of “affirming the dignity and worth of the human person and striving for international peace” by “feeding the hungry, providing disaster relief, and empowering women and girls” around the world for example.


“Yet in recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement. 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,” he said.

The president accompanied U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to the United Nations Monday, thanking her for her introduction and “steadfast advocacy for American interests on the world stage.” He plans to address the UN general assembly on Tuesday.

Trump commended Secretary General Antonio Guterres for calling on the UN to “focus more on people and less on bureaucracy.”

“We seek a United Nations that regains the trust of the people around the world. 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,” the president said.

“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. 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,” he said.

Trump called on Guterres to “fully use his authority to cut through the bureaucracy, reform outdated systems, and make firm decisions to advance the U.N.’s core mission.”

“Further, 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.

“Mr. Secretary General, the United States and the member states present today support this great reform vision.  We pledge to be partners in your work, and 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,” Trump added.

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