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Russia Ditches Meeting to Discuss UN Reforms

Craig Ruttle / AP / TASS

Russia will not take part in a summit convened by the United States in New York to discuss reforms at the United Nations, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced plans to reform the UN at an event co-hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump on Sept. 18. The 10-point initiative aims to make the world body more efficient and cut back on “endless red tape,” at the organization, Guterres said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Monday that Russia would not participate in discussions on the U.S.-led reforms.

“This is an informal, unofficial meeting organized for the group of countries that support the document prepared by the United States,” he told Interfax. “It’s the initiative of one individual country,” he added.

Gatilov said that Russia supports reforms saying they must be comprehensive and ensure that effective programs are not cut.

Although 128 UN member states support the proposals, seventy countries, including Russia, China and France — which are permanent members of the UN Security Council — did not sign the U.S.-sponsored declaration.

U.S. representative to the United Nations Nikki Hailey said that the U.S. hoped to gain consensus for its initiative, the state-run TASS news agency cited her as saying.

Trump once described the UN as a “club” for “people to get together, talk and have a good time.” His administration has threatened deep cuts to UN funding.

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