President Donald Trump and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed optimism about the future of the United Nations under its new leadership when the two met Friday at the White House.
Trump praised the United Nations and Guterres, who took over leadership of the international body in January.
“You are starting to really get your arms around it, and I have a feeling that things are going to happen with the United Nations like you haven’t seen before,” Trump said, adding that the organization has “tremendous potential.”
Trump, in his first address before the U.N. General Assembly in September, was critical of the international body for being bogged down by “bureaucracy and process.” He said the United States “bears an unfair cost burden” compared to the other 192 member states.
“We pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more,” he said.
Guterres said the United Nations needs the support of the United States in order to be successful.
“I am a true believer that we live in a messy world but we need a strong reforms and modernized U.N. We need a strong United States, engaged based on its traditional values — freedom, democracy, human rights. And we need a very solid cooperation between the U.S. and the U.N. And it’s a great pleasure to be here,” he said.
A Gallup poll in February found 60 percent of Americans believe the United Nations was doing a poor job trying to solve its problems. Thirty percent said the United Nations was doing a good job, while 3 percent had no opinion.
–UPI, Danielle Haynes