UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday he is hoping for a constructive message from US President Donald Trump when he makes his first address to world leaders at the United Nations next week.
Trump will address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, taking to the podium of the global institution that he once disparaged as a “club” for “people to have a good time”.
“All the efforts I have been making until now are in the direction of trying to create conditions for the relationship between the United States and the United Nations to be a constructive relationship,” Guterres told a news conference.
“I hope that will also be the message of President Trump and I hope that if that is the message that will be conveyed, that that message will be received.”
The United States is the UN’s number one financial contributor, paying 28.5 per cent of the $7.3 billion peacekeeping budget and 22 per cent of the core budget of $5.4 billion.
The Trump administration has threatened deep cuts to US funding to the world body, while US Ambassador Nikki Haley was a driving force behind a $600-million-cut to the UN peacekeeping budget this year.
Trump on Monday will host a meeting on reforming the United Nations to push for changes at the world body and back Guterres’ plan for a more effective UN response to global crises.
Trump has described the United Nations as an “underperformer” but stressed that it has “huge potential” to address the long list of world crises that will be at the centre of this year’s UN debate. (AFP)