President Trump was critical of the U.N. during his first appearance at the General Assembly. Trump has spoken negatively of the U.N. in the past, and is now calling on the organization to reform in order to reach its full potential.
"We encourage 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."
"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.”
President Trump isn't alone in his criticism of the United Nations. Many have argued the U.N. has been an utter failure, unable to fulfill its purpose of maintaining global peace.
Take a few international crises – the Syrian civil war, the irruption of Isil, the Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine, the surge of refugees across European frontiers. All of them are linked.
But there is a more fundamental connection – the utter failure of the international institutions and accords put in place since the end of the Second World War either to forestall such crises or solve them when they explode. The rules-based international order is itself at risk. A sulphurous whiff of anarchy is in the air.
In core matters of war and peace it has proved well nigh useless.
But many maintain the U.N. is an extremely important global forum, especially on issues like climate change.
The U.N. system provides the venue and expertise to address long-term efforts to bolster sustainable development and address climate change. The Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 provided a workable 15-year global framework for countries to reduce hunger and raise health standards.
And the U.N. also has a solid record when it comes to addressing human rights.
U.N. humanitarian agencies are crucial in lessening human misery. For decades UNICEF has worked to better the lives of the youngest on the planet; while the High Commissioner for Refugees shelters some of the most vulnerable.