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.”
The secretary-general, who served as U.N. high commissioner for refugees for 10 years, chose World Refugee Day for the press conference and appealed to all U.N. member states not to refuse entry to those seeking asylum and deserving protection.
He also urged rich countries to do much more to support the 80 percent of the world’s refugees living in the developing world — and to increase the number of refugees they will give new homes to.
The United States is “by far the largest resettlement country in the world” with a “very generous and positive policy,” Guterres said.
But Trump is moving to significantly reduce the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States, even as his bid to temporarily suspend admissions is stalled in the courts. His budget proposal calls for a 25 percent cut in funds for resettling refugees on American soil.
Guterres said he has strongly encouraged the United States “to come back to the levels of resettlement that we witnessed until two or three years ago.” (AP)