UN Gen Assembly Prez. calls for Security Council reform

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – The Security Council reflects dated realities and must be reformed, outgoing UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak said Thursday.

"It cannot be denied that the current composition of the UN Security Council is not representative because it does not reflect the realities of the 21st century. It copies the realities of 1945," Lajcak told reporters.

Lajcak said calls for council reform are "just," and said the council should reflect present day realities as he prepares to round out his presidency next week, turning over the reigns to former Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa on Sept. 18.

In response to an Anadolu Agency reporter's question about the U.S. withdraw from various UN organs, Lajcak said U.S. President Donald Trump "made it very clear to me [the] United Nations can play a very important role, that it has a strong potential" during a 2017 meeting.

"Since then we have seen withdrawals of the United States from several important processes, or organizations," he said, referring to the Human Rights Council and other UN bodies the U.S. has exited.

"I have expressed my regret on every occasion when it happened, and I do regret this withdrawal because I really believe that we are stronger together, and I am also absolutely convinced that we are facing challenges of a nature that makes it impossible for a single member state to deal with them on its own," he added.

Under Trump, the U.S. has exited not only the UN's human rights body, but also its world heritage organization, and cut all funding to the UN's Palestine refugee agency, which supports 5 million people in the Middle East.

Washington boycotted a migration pact member states agreed to in July to help cope with the global migrant flow.

"The door remains open, and we will be very pleased when the United States decides to return to the institutions, bodies and also processes of the United Nations," he said.

*Betul Yuruk contributed to this report from the United Nations