US President Donald Trump, a critic of the UN, will seek to gather global support for reforming the world body, ahead of his maiden address to the General Assembly. India along with some key members of the UN has also been seeking reforms and expansion of the UN Security Council. Ahead of his address, Trump would host and chair a high- level meeting of the world leaders on reforms in the UN. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj would be participating in the meeting. During the meeting, Trump “will express support for Secretary General (Antonio) Guterres’ reform efforts,” said National Security Advisor Lt Gen H R McMaster. “The United Nations, of course, holds tremendous potential to realise its founding ideals, but only if it’s run more efficiently and effectively,” he told reporters in Washington last week. On Tuesday, Trump will address the General Assembly during which he will tackle multiple global issues such as North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and the crisis in Syria.
The UN reforms will focus on ensuring that other countries take a more equitable burden to ensure international security, to demand greater accountability of UN officials, and to reduce the budget by eliminating duplication. Trump had once described the UN as “a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time”. “The utter weakness and incompetency of the United Nations. The United Nations is not a friend of democracy. It’s not a friend to freedom. It’s not a friend even to the United States of America, where, as you know, it has its home,” Trump had said during his presidential campaign last year.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin on Saturday said India wants these reforms to be broad-based and all encompassing. The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, on Sunday said that Trump wants the world body to be efficient and effective. “We said that we needed to get value for our dollar. And what we’re finding is the international community is right there with us in support of reform. So, it is a new day at the UN,” she told the CNN in an interview on Sunday. The 72nd session of the UN General Assembly would be discussing 172 items on its agenda.