U.S. 'taking names' of its opponents, new ambassador to UN says

Nikki Haley, the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is announcing a new way the U.S. does business. She says the Trump administration’s goal is to show U.S. strength and force and defend its allies — and as for countries opposing America, “We’re taking names.”

The former South Carolina governor said the United States will respond “accordingly” to opponents.

Haley spoke to the news media immediately after she walked into UN headquarters for the first time, saying “it’s a thrill to be here” and declaring that at the U.S. mission to the United Nations, “You are gonna see a change in the way we do business. It’s no longer about working harder, it’s about working smarter.”

In the halls of UN headquarters, the Trump administration’s approach to the 193-member world organization has been a subject of non-stop diplomatic discussion, speculation and concern.

The United States is a permanent veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, the organization’s most powerful body, and it pays 22 per cent of its regular budget and over 28 per cent of the costs of its far-flung peacekeeping operations.

‘Fresh eyes’ on the UN

Haley said President Donald Trump wants her to put “fresh eyes” on the United Nations.

“Everything that’s working we’re going to make it better,” she said. “Everything that’s not working we’re going to try to fix, and anything that seems to be obsolete and not necessary we’re going to do away with.”

In blunt language, without the diplomatic nuances characteristic of discussions, Haley outlined the new U.S. approach to the United Nations.

“Our goal with the administration is to show value at the UN, and the way that we’ll show value is to show our strength, show our voice, and have the backs of our allies and make sure that our allies have our back as well,” Haley said.

“For those that don’t have our back, we’re taking names,” she said. “We will make a point to respond to that accordingly. But this is a time of strength. This is a time of action. This is a time of getting things done.”

Haley presented her credentials to Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who became UN chief on Jan. 1. They then went into his office for a private discussion.

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CBC | World News