Can the UN survive Trump?

Natalie Samarasinghe looks at how the global body is handling an ‘America First’ president

The World Today Updated 9 November 2020 Published 7 December 2018 5 minute READ

Natalie Samarasinghe

Executive Director, United Nations Association UK

The mood in New York’s Turtle Bay was buoyant in October 2016. The Security Council had just announced its backing for Antonio Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister who ran the United Nations refugee agency for a decade, to serve as UN Secretary-General from January 2017.

It was a rare moment of unity between the five veto-wielding permanent members of the council, known as the P5, who are normally riven by divisions over Syria and Ukraine, and it was a move broadly welcomed by the wider UN membership.

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