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UN Sec Gen thanks US as largest contributor, pledges reforms

Antonio Guterres has said the UN has seen the blueprint of the 2018 budget released by the White House.

Newly elected President of Somalia and former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi, better known by his nickname Farmajo, delivers an address in Mogadishu, on February 8, 2017

According to a statement by Mr Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General on Thursday, he said the UN has seen the blueprint of the 2018 budget released by the White House.

Guterres said he is committed to reforming the UN and ready to discuss with Member States on how best to create a more cost-effective Organisation that can tackle the enormous challenges facing the international community.

“The budgetary process in the U.S. is complex, lengthy and it needs to be completed.

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“The Secretary-General is grateful for the support the United States has given to the United Nations over the years as the organisations largest financial contributor,” he said.

Media reports suggest that the proposed budget would seek major cuts in U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid, among other areas.

The scribe restated totally committed to reforming the UN and ensuring that it is fit for purpose and delivers results in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

UN chief added, however, that abrupt funding cuts can force the adoption of ad hoc measures that will undermine the impact of longer-term reform efforts.

“The Secretary-General stands ready to discuss with the United States and any other Member State how best we can create a more cost-effective organisation to pursue our shared goals and values,”

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He noted that the UN chief fully subscribed to the necessity to effectively combat terrorism, but believed that it required more than military spending.

“There is also a need to address the underlying drivers of terrorism through continuing investments.

“These investments are in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, countering violent extremism, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, sustainable and inclusive development, the enhancement and respect of human rights, and timely responses to humanitarian crises.

“The international community is facing enormous global challenges that can only be addressed by a strong and effective multilateral system, of which the United Nations remains the fundamental pillar,” he said.

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