The United Nations has come under fire for years from critics on both the right and the left.
Three days after the United Nations adopted a resolution calling on Israel to halt Jewish settlement activity on Palestinian territory, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that the international body “is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”
The harsh criticism, which Trump made Monday while vacationing at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, signaled he would likely challenge more than just the 71-year-old institution’s approach to the Middle East once he takes office.
While Trump did not elaborate on why he considered the United Nations ineffectual, he made it clear both before and after the Security Council adopted the resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that he believed the United States should have blocked the move.
President Barack Obama instructed U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power to abstain from voting, on the grounds that the Israeli government’s continued support for expanding Jewish settlements could undermine any prospect of eventually reaching a two-state solution to the simmering conflict.
After the Security Council voted Trump tweeted, “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” which is the day he will assume the presidency.
The United Nations has come under fire for years from critics on both the right and the left. Conservatives have attacked it for infringing on individual nations’ sovereignty as well as wasting resources, while many developing nations argue that most major decisions remain dominated by a handful of countries that were influential when the United Nations was established decades ago.
In recent years, some of its peacekeeping troops have been repeatedly accused of raping civilians they were sent to protect, and this August the office of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon formally acknowledged that Nepalese peacekeepers sent by the United Nations to Haiti six years ago contributed to a cholera outbreak there even as U.N. officials maintained they have legal immunity in connection to the epidemic.