Incoming U.S. President Donald Trump has criticised the UN, describing the global body as a mere talk club.
In a tweet on Monday, Mr. Trump, however, said the 193-member body has great potential, according to the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York.
“The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.
“So sad,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump’s remarks might not be unconnected with Monday’s UN Security Council Resolution, which condemned the Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory.
A statement from Mr. Trump on Thursday had asked the U.S. to veto the resolution.
“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed.
“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations.
“This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also successfully lobbied Egypt, which proposed the draft resolution, to withdraw it, enlisting the help of Mr. Trump to persuade Cairo to drop the bid.
NAN recalls that following the pressure that Mr. Trump reportedly put on Egypt, the sponsor of the resolution, Egypt withdrew it on Thursday and the vote was consequently delayed till Friday.
However, the resolution was put forward on Friday by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela.
However, the Obama administration disregarded Mr. Trump’s directive and had gone ahead to abstain from voting on the resolution when it finally came up on Friday, drawing criticisms from the president-elect and his team.
NAN recalls that the 15-member Council adopted the resolution by a vote of 14 in favour and with one abstention – the U.S., which abstained from voting rather than veto the resolution.
Mr. Trump thereafter threatened that “things will change” at the global international organisation when he assumes the U.S. presidency from January 20, 2017.
The White House had, in a response by r. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes, cautioned Mr. Trump and his team, saying asking them to wait till January 20, 2017 and stop meddling in the Obama administration’s policies.
“On the President-elect, the first thing I’d just say is that there’s one President at a time.
“President Obama is the President of the United States until January 20th, and we are taking this action (abstention), of course, as U.S. policy,” he said.
Mr. Rhodes explained that there was no communication between the White House and the President-elect or his staff between when Obama made his decision and when the vote took place.
“So I’m not aware that President Obama and the President-elect spoke about this, but again, I’m not — President Obama definitely made no reference to that, so I can’t confirm that this hasn’t come up at all, but I’m not aware of any particular conversation they had about this.
“We did hear from the President-elect’s team. Again, our position has been there’s one President at a time.
“We’re going to make our decision on this and, frankly, believe that it’s important that there’s a principle here that the world understands who is speaking on behalf of the United States until January 20 and who is speaking on behalf of the United States after January 20.
“And look, the new team will have every opportunity after January 20, to pursue their own policies, to take different approaches.
“I’m certain that they will on any number of issues.
“We’re just reflecting the simple principle that I think has guided the President-elect transitions historically.
“Which is that there is one President at a time and we’re going to execute our duties until the new team is in place and the new President is inaugurated,” Mr. Obama’s aide said.