In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan urged the parties “to persevere with inclusive national consultations to support the democratic reform process.”The statement added that the Secretary-General “stands ready to support national and regional efforts aimed at facilitating a broad political consensus.”Earlier this month riots broke out in the capital, Nuku’alofa, amid disputes about democratic reform in the Pacific kingdom. Media reports state that at least eight people died.
A statement from Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said the UN has seen the blueprint of the 2018 budget released by the White House and notes that the budgetary process in the US is complex and lengthy and it needs to be completed. Media reports suggest that the proposed budget would seek major cuts in US diplomacy and foreign aid, among other areas. “The Secretary-General is grateful for the support the United States has given to the United Nations over the years as the Organization’s largest financial contributor,” said that statement.The statement goes on to say that the Mr. Guterres is totally committed to reforming the United Nations and ensuring that it is fit for purpose and delivers results in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.However, abrupt funding cuts can force the adoption of ad hoc measures that will undermine the impact of longer-term reform efforts, it adds.“The Secretary-General stands ready to discuss with the United States and any other Member State how best we can create a more cost-effective Organization to pursue our shared goals and values,” underscored the statement.It goes on to note that the UN chief fully subscribes to the necessity to effectively combat terrorism, but believes that it requires more than military spending. “There is also a need to address the underlying drivers of terrorism through continuing investments in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, countering violent extremism, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, sustainable and inclusive development, the enhancement and respect of human rights, and timely responses to humanitarian crises,” it states.“The international community is facing enormous global challenges that can only be addressed by a strong and effective multilateral system, of which the United Nations remains the fundamental pillar,” the statement concludes.