Donald Trump attends his first UNGA: US president says bureaucracy, mismanagement holding UN back, urges for ‘bold’ reforms

United Nations: US President Donald Trump criticised the United Nations for bloated bureaucracy and mismanagement on his first visit on Monday to UN headquarters, calling for “truly bold reforms” so it could be a greater force for world peace.

 Donald Trump attends his first UNGA: US president says bureaucracy, mismanagement holding UN back, urges for ‘bold’ reforms

Donald Trump with US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. AP

Kicking off a frantic week of diplomacy with a panel discussion on UN reform, Trump noted a personal history with the New York-based institution.

He had seen "great potential right across the street" from UN headquarters, Trump said, referencing his decision to build the 72-floor residential skyscraper Trump World Tower nearby.

"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", the businessman-turned-president told delegates.

But Trump warned that as chief executive of the United States — a founding member of the UN and its biggest financial contributor — he wants a better return on his investment.

"The United Nations was founded on truly noble goals," he said, adding that while progress has been made, "in recent years the United Nations has not reached its full potential, because of bureaucracy and mismanagement."

He said that while the United Nations' 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."

He called on the institution to "focus on results," a call that was echoed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who said a reformed UN needs to focus "more on people and less on process."

Make the United Nations Great

Trump once disparaged the world body as a "club" for "people to get together, talk and have a good time" and his administration has threatened deep cuts to UN funding.

That includes a $600 million cut to the peacekeeping budget, which critics warn will significantly affect peace operations but which is music to Trump supporters' ears.

"I think the main message is 'Make the United Nations Great.' Not again. 'Make the United Nations Great' Trump said after his remarks.

"The United Nations has tremendous potential and we'll see how it works out."

The United States pays 22 percent of the UN's $5.4 billion core budget and 28.5 percent of the $7.3 billion peacekeeping budget.

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Updated Date: Sep 19, 2017 08:29:18 IST

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