UN chief: US will be replaced if it disengages from world
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the Trump administration on Tuesday that if the United States disengages from many issues confronting the international community it will be replaced — and that won't be good for America or for the world.
Guterres made clear to reporters at his first press conference here since taking the reins of the United Nations on Jan. 1 that proposed cuts in U.S. funding for the U.N. would be disastrous and create "an unsolvable problem to the management of the U.N."
But the U.N. chief stressed that he is not afraid to stand up to President Donald Trump, citing his vocal opposition to the U.S. leader's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. He said the mobilization of U.S. business and civil society in support or the climate deal is "a signal of hope that we very much encourage."
Looking at the array of global crises, Guterres expressed concern that there could be a direct confrontation between the United States and Russia over Syria and urged a de-escalation of the dispute between Washington and Moscow over the U.S. downing of a Syrian jet.
This is very important, he said, "because these kind of incidents can be very dangerous in a conflict situation in which there are so many actors, and in which the situation is so complex on the ground."
"So, indeed, I am concerned, and I hope that this will not lead to any escalation of the conflict that is already as dramatic as it is," Guterres said.