Photo of Donald Trump

Remarks at a Luncheon Hosted by Secretary-General António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres of the United Nations in New York City

September 24, 2019

Secretary-General Guterres. President Donald Trump, distinguished heads of state and government, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen: It is wonderful to be, again, together in New York. This city is a wonderful city, a wonderful inspiration for us all. And I think if there is a privilege to be Secretary-General of the United Nations, it's to be able to work in New York.

I know, Mr. President, New York is your city. You are a New Yorker. And indeed, that inspiration is vital for the success of our work. On the other hand, we have many other sources of inspiration coming from your country, the United States of America. The Charter of the United Nations starts with the sentence, "We the peoples." That's exactly the sentence with which your Constitution starts.

And, on the other hand, if we are going to celebrate tomorrow the 75th—tomorrow—next year, the 75th anniversary of the U.N., I would like to remind us all that we are celebrating this year the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, I'm sure, one of the most remarkable achievements of humankind in the world.

Now, after the Moon landing—immediately after—the astronauts came to the United Nations. And the crowd was so big that they had to go to the North Lounge. And there, Neil Armstrong—that was a man that wouldn't speak very much, but usually very wise in what he would say—said the following sentence that I dare to read to all of you. And I'm quoting: "I can tell that you share with us the hope that we, citizens of the Earth, who can solve the problems of leaving Earth, can also solve the problems of [living] on it."

I think that these words are also a fantastic inspiration for what we have to do: create, together, an Earth on which we all can live in peace and in prosperity. And I would like to raise my glass to the hospitality—warm hospitality—of our host city and host country, New York and United States, and to the well-being and prosperity of we the peoples of the world.


[At this point, Secretary-General Guterres offered a toast.]

President Trump. Well, Mr. Secretary-General, you've become my friend. And we have had a lot of time together—hours and hours—talking about world problems, world events. And a lot of progress has been made.

You know, I've long said that I think the United Nations is an institution with more potential than virtually any institution I can think of. It's called the "potential of war," which is bad, and "peace," which is great. And I think we've been doing a great job on the "peace" aspect of it.

But we've had many great meetings with Angela and—or, thank you very much. The Polish people are very happy. I've heard that today. They were very happy with your performance yesterday. Great job.

But I just want to thank everybody for being here. It's an honor to have you in the United States, an honor to have you in New York City. And the United Nations is very, very special. And most importantly, I want to congratulate you on the incredible job you're doing. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary-General.

Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Thank you. [President Trump offered a toast.]

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 1:35 p.m. at United Nations Headquarters. In his remarks, he referred to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a Luncheon Hosted by Secretary-General António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres of the United Nations in New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




New York

Simple Search of Our Archives