Donald Trump meets UN chief Antonio Guterres, says global body has not fulfilled its 'enormous potential'

Washington: The United States president said during a meeting in Washington on Friday with the UN Secretary-General that that global body had not fulfilled its enormous potential but was beginning to do so.

Donald Trump made his remarks at the White House Oval Office after a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"The United Nations has this great ... power to bring people together like nothing else. It hasn't been used. You are starting to really get your arms around it," Trump told Guterres, Efe reported.

Donald Trump meets UN chief Antonio Guterres, says global body has not fulfilled its enormous potential

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in the Oval Office of the White House. AP

"And I have a feeling that things are going to happen with the United Nations like you haven't seen before."

Guterres, for his part, said a modernised UN and a strong US engaged based on its traditional values - freedom, democracy and human rights - were essential in a "messy world."

Trump and Guterres hosted a high-level gathering during the UN General Assembly in September that was focused on reforming that 193-member body, a task that is a priority for the White House.

At that time, the US president praised initiatives being spurred by Guterres to help ensure a more efficient UN operation.

Prior to his 20 January inauguration, then President-elect Trump lamented on Twitter that despite the UN's tremendous untapped potential it was currently just a "club for people to get together, talk and have a good time."

Last week, the Trump administration said it was pulling the US out of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, accusing that specialized UN agency of showing an "anti-Israel bias" and also citing the need for "fundamental reform" and "mounting arrears" at that world-heritage organization.

Guterres, who recalled the important role the US had played since UNESCO's founding, said then that the decision was deeply regrettable.

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Updated Date: Oct 21, 2017 12:35:22 IST

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