In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Monday, President Donald Trump criticized the international agency for its bloated bureaucracy and “mismanagement.”
“In recent years the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement” he said. “While the United Nations, on a regular budget, has increased by 140%, and its staff has more than doubled since 2000, we are not seeing the results in line with this investment.”
Trump went on to talk about the need to reform the agency to “focus more on people and less on bureaucracy,” an agenda he indicated was shared by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The president also brought up equal-burden sharing, a goal that has been important to him and his administration while evaluating U.S. participation across all international organizations.
“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,” he said Monday.
The U.S. contributes more to the U.N. than any other nation, comprising 22% of the regular budget and more than 28% of the peacekeeping budget.
While Trump reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to the international governing body and its core mission, he has been a vocal critic of the U.N. – particularly where funding levels and peacekeeping missions are concerned.
Monday’s meeting was focused primarily on reform. The United States has asked member nations to sign onto a declaration aimed at streamlining operational and financial processes at the intergovernmental organization.