Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the Preparatory Ministerial Meeting of the Summit of the Future

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
September 21, 2023


Mr. Secretary-General, thank you for focusing on the crucial task of shaping the future of the United Nations. I would also like to thank our co-facilitators, Germany and Namibia, for giving us a solid foundation to build on over the next year.

Colleagues, we face a tall task: We must confront today’s global challenges and growing doubts about the UN’s ability to meet this moment – especially at a time when the UN Charter is under attack by a permanent member of the Security Council and when we have fallen behind on so many of the Sustainable Development Goals.

We have a great deal of work to do to make the Summit of the Future a success, and today I want to lay out four actions that can move us forward.

First, we must all deliver on the SDG pledges we’ve made these last few days. The United States is determined to do our part as the world’s largest provider of humanitarian and development assistance. But progress requires partnership. And we must come together to take on conflict, hunger, gender inequality, the climate crisis, and other pressing issues.

Second, we must work to reform our international institutions so that they are more inclusive, credible, and fit for purpose.

And in that vein, the United States is committed to revitalizing and reforming multilateral development banks and to boosting concessional lending capacity for global challenges and for crisis response in the poorest countries.

We are also committed to reforming the UN Security Council. As President Biden reaffirmed this week, we support increasing the number of permanent and non-permanent members. The Council must reflect today’s global realities.

Third, we must all reaffirm core principles of the UN Charter, including sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the independence of Member States.

And finally, as we approach the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we must defend the fundamental human rights of all.

Colleagues, the future of the United Nations is ours to shape. Let us seize this moment. Let us seize this opportunity.

Thank you.