Sweden hits back at Trump over UN criticism

Sweden hits back at Trump over UN criticism
Sweden’s UN Ambassador Olof Skoog has responded to Donald Trump's criticism of the organization. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT & Evan Vucci/AP
Sweden has responded to Donald Trump’s criticism of the United Nations as the Nordic nation begins its January presidency of the UN Security Council.

“Trump has been an outspoken critic of the intergovernmental organization, tweeting on December 27th that it is “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time”.

At a presentation of the Security Council’s programme for the month of January on Tuesday however, Sweden’s UN Ambassador Olof Skoog answered the President-elect, insisting that the work the organization does is important, and cooperating is in the best interest of the US.

“Do we have fun in the UN? Do we have a good time? Yes, but we also work very hard. Multilateralism works in the interest of all countries, including the United States. If you look at what we have achieved, the consensus developed here in the last few years is very important work,” Skoog said at a media conference.

“We feel a certain degree of concern over some of what was said during the US election campaign regarding the UN and multilateralism, but just now it is best to wait and see. Will the US turn its back on the UN? I think that as soon as you look closely at these questions you can see that it is in America’s interest to be involved,” he added.

The diplomat detailed Sweden’s priorities for its two year non-permanent membership of the Security Council, which include female participation in peace processes, security, human rights, equality, humanitarian work and climate change.

Sweden has not yet been in contact with Trump’s choice as US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, as protocol dictates that she must first have her nomination approved by Congress.

In June last year Sweden was elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2017-18 period.