Remarks at a High-Level Event on “Reforming the United Nations: Management, Security, and Development”

Ambassador Nikki Haley
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
September 18, 2017


Good morning, and welcome to everyone. Thank you, and welcome to an event that shows it truly is a new day at the United Nations. I thank you very much for being here. You should know that we had to get a bigger room to accommodate everyone here today, and that’s a good problem. And that is one of the greatest signs of hope for the United Nations that we’ve seen since I’ve been here.

The Declaration of Support for United Nations Reform began as a way to give momentum to Secretary-General Guterres’ efforts to bring greater efficiency, accountability, and transparency to the UN. We thought that having Member States put their names on a document would help ensure that these goals don’t remain just words but become a part of the culture of the UN. The response that we’ve had has been nothing short of fantastic; 128 nations have signed onto the declaration as of this morning, and we’re still counting. That is a supermajority.

I thank our co-hosts today, our friends from Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

Most of all, I thank all of you. The fact that so many are committed to seeing the United Nations succeed is gratifying. It is a sign, not only that change is desperately needed, but that it will be achieved.

You are the reason change is coming to the UN. It is now my honor to introduce someone who is no stranger to change. Donald Trump has a businessman’s eye for seeing potential, and he sees great potential, not just in this reform movement, but in the United Nations itself. He shares your commitment to creating a more effective advocate for peace, security, and human rights. We are deeply grateful he has taken the time to be with us today.

Ladies and gentlemen, President Donald J. Trump.


I came to the United Nations about the same time as the Secretary-General. He and I share a mission to find value in the UN. We share the goal of a better United Nations.

Not a cheaper UN or a more expensive UN. Not a smaller one or a bigger one. A better UN. An organization with the trust and the capability to deliver on its mandate to promote peace, security and human rights. Over the past eight months, he has been a partner and become a friend. His leadership brings us together today.

Ladies and gentlemen, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.


Thank you, Mr. President and Mr. Secretary-General.

Today is a great day, but it’s the beginning of a process, not the end. There are 193 members of the United Nations. That means there are about 70 Member States out there that have not yet signed the Declaration of Support for United Nations Reform. Our mission leaving here today is to not be satisfied with less than a complete consensus on this reform agenda. We are always stronger when we speak with one voice, and the future of this institution is worth the extra mile.

Our goal is to convince the delegations that have not yet signed the declaration to join the effort for a more efficient, accountable, and transparent UN. The United States believes we can make history by coming together as a true global community for reform.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be considering the Secretary-General’s broader vision. This is an opportunity for all of us to seize this moment and ensure that the United Nations remains relevant. We must challenge traditional mindsets, inertia, and resistance to change. We will do this together. I hope we can count on your help.

Thank you again, and let’s make it a new day at the United Nations.