Trump: UN ‘just a club for people to get together, talk’

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UNITED NATIONS, Dec 27 (APP): Four days after the United Nations voted to condemn Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, US President-elect Donald Trump criticized the world body on Monday, claiming it has “such great potential” that it’s not meeting.

In a Monday afternoon tweet, Trump said the U.N. “is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”
His comments come on the heels the U.N. Security Council’s 14-0 vote Friday to pass a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressured the Obama administration to veto the resolution, but the U.S. abstained from the vote, allowing the resolution to pass.

Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to the United States said his country will share evidence with the president-elect that the Obama administration was behind Security Council the resolution, though he did not offer the evidence when pressed in a CNN interview.
“We will present this evidence to the new administration through the appropriate channels, and if they want to share it with the American people they are welcome to do it,” Israel’s ambassador, Ron Dermer, said.

Trump said last December that he wanted to be “very neutral” on Israel-Palestinian issues. But his tone became decidedly more pro-Israel as the presidential campaign progressed. He has spoken disparagingly of Palestinians, saying they have been “taken over” by or are condoning militant groups.

Trump’s tweet Monday about the U.N. ignores much of the work that goes on in the 193-member global organization.

This year the U.N. Security Council has approved over 70 legally binding resolutions, including new sanctions on North Korea and measures tackling conflicts and authorizing the U.N.’s far-flung peacekeeping operations around the world. The General Assembly has also approved dozens of resolutions on issues, like the role of diamonds in fueling conflicts; condemned human rights abuses in Iran and North Korea; and authorized an investigation of alleged war crimes in Syria.
The organization engages in large-scale humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts, but its huge bureaucracy has long been a source of controversy. The organization has been accused by some Western governments of being inefficient and frivolous, while developing nations have said it is overly influenced by wealthier nations.

The president-elect is spending the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

The United Nations will have a new leader on January 1, 2017, when former Portuguese Prime Minister and UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres takes over from outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.