Trump: Mismanagement, bureaucracy keep UN from meeting its potential

President Trump kicked off his maiden appearance at the United Nations on Monday with a call to overhaul the international organization. 

“In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement,” he said at an event dedicated to U.N. reform. 

The president said the U.N. has more than doubled its budget in recent years, but added “we are not seeing the results in line with this investment” in efforts like peacekeeping and disaster relief.


“I think the main message is ‘make the United Nations great.’ Not again, ‘make the United Nations great,’ ” Trump told reporters after leaving the meeting. “Such tremendous potential, and I think we'll be able to do this.” 

Trump’s comments come as he prepares to deliver his first remarks before the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York on Tuesday.

The president has been deeply critical of the 72-year-old organization, and dozens of world leaders at the summit are anxious to hear how he plans to address those concerns, as well as hotspots like North Korea. 

Trump took a diplomatic approach Monday, praising U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres for his efforts to reform the U.N. bureaucracy and management structure. 

“I know that under the secretary-general, that’s changing and it’s changing fast and we’ve seen it,” he said. “We seek a United Nations that regains the trust of people around the world.” 

The president said the push must “hold every level of management accountable.”

Trump's has a full schedule at his first U.N. General Assembly as president. The main event will be his Tuesday speech to the assembly, but he is also meeting with many world leaders, starting with sit-downs on Monday with French President Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump is scheduled to dine Monday night with Latin American leaders.