The election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president was met with disbelief and despondency on Wednesday among some United Nations officials and diplomats amid uncertainty surrounding his foreign policy and likely engagement with the world body.
Trump, a Republican, has described the 71-year-old United Nations as weak and incompetent and threatened to pull out of a global deal to combat climate change – a cornerstone of the legacy of U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, who steps down at the end of 2016 after serving two five-year terms as secretary-general.
“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,” Trump said during a speech in March to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
The United States is a veto-wielding member of the 15-member U.N. Security Council and the largest financial contributor to the United Nations. Washington owes about $1.1 billion, the United Nations said. Republicans have long been reluctant to pay dues, accusing the world body of waste and bias.