Bureaucracy and mismanagement holding UN back, says Trump

RSTV Bureau

President Donald Trump blamed “bureaucracy and mismanagement” for the UN’s failure to reach its full potential and sought reforms in the “outdated systems” of the world body to better serve the people.

In his maiden appearance as the US president at the UN with the focus on making it effective and efficient, Trump insisted that the world body can be better at development, management, peace and security.

New York: President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. AP/PTI

New York: President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. AP/PTI

“The United Nations was founded on truly noble goals. These include affirming the dignity and worth of the human person and striving for international peace. The UN has helped advance these goals in so many ways,” said Trump, who chaired a special meeting on ‘Reforming the United Nations’ which was also attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Trump, who was accompanied by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, said, “in recent years the UN has not reached its full potential, because of bureaucracy and mismanagement.”

“While the UN on a regular budget has increased by 140 per cent, 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.

Commending Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his call for the UN to focus more on people and less on bureaucracy, Trump sought 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 whistle-blowers and focus on results rather than on process,” he said.

“To honour 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.

He encouraged the UN chief to fully use his authority to cut through the bureaucracy, reform outdated systems, and make firm decisions to advance the UN’s core mission.

He also encouraged 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.

India has welcomed the initiative to reform the UN, but it insists that these be “broad-based and all-encompassing” and the changes should not be restricted to its Secretariat only.

“We feel that reforms need to be much more broad-based. You cannot have reform only of the Secretariat. Reforms cannot side step issues related to governance of UN bodies,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin told reporters at a news conference last week.

He said that India is in touch with countries that are pro-reforms. “Winds of change are blowing globally so therefore UN cannot be left aside. So, reform is a major issue in the UN,” the Indian envoy added