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Remarks in a Meeting With Secretary-General António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres of the United Nations

October 20, 2017

The President. Thank you very much. It's great to have the Secretary-General with us. We've become friends. Even before I was doing what I'm doing right now, we were friends; we knew each other.

You have done a very, very spectacular job at the United Nations. And I can tell you, speaking for the United States, we appreciate it.

And I know you're working with our Ambassador. Nikki is in a very, very unique class. She is—we're very proud of you, and we want to thank you for the job you're doing.

But it's an honor to have you, and thank you very much for being here. A lot to discuss.

Secretary-General Guterres. Thank you very much, Mr. President. I must say that I'm extremely grateful, first of all, for the support that you have given us in relation to our reform process——

The President. Yes.

Secretary-General Guterres. ——having to General Assembly.

I am a true believer that we live in a messy world, but we need a strong, reformed, and modernized U.N. We need a strong United States, engaged based on its traditional values—freedom, democracy, human rights. And we need a very solid cooperation between the U.S. and the U.N. And it's a great pleasure to be with you today.

The President. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

Secretary-General Guterres. Thank you very much.

The President. I have to say, the United Nations has tremendous potential. It hasn't been used over the years nearly as it should be, but the United Nations—perhaps almost more than any other thing I can think of.

And I will tell you, I also happen to think that the United States, even as well as we're doing right now, has additionally tremendous potential. We have just started.

But the United Nations has this great, great—it's almost a power to bring people together like nothing else. It hasn't been used. You are starting to really get your arms around it, and I have a feeling that things are going to happen with the United Nations like you haven't seen before.

I mean, to have this group of nations in one location with one person—which is you—leading it strongly, I think, is—in terms of world peace and other things and other, many other things that you're working on—I just wish you luck, because the potential that you have is really unlimited. Good luck.

Secretary-General Guterres. Thank you very much. And I need all of the luck in the world. [Laughter] The President. No, you need luck—you need luck, and you need talent. Okay? You need talent. And he's got the talent. Now, we'll see what happens. I'll report back to you in about 7 years what I think. [Laughter]

Okay, thank you all very much. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:25 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki R. Haley.

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

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