UN Secretary-General António Guterres believes that President Trump's pledge to make "America first" is actually "detrimental to American interests." Speaking to CNN's Fareed Zakaria on Sunday, Guterres said that the idea of "America first" is based on a belief that "the interests of the American people are best protected by the U.S. in itself, and that international organizations do not contribute much to it." Guterres told Zakaria this simply "wasn't true."
"The US is too big and too relevant to be able to think it alone. The way things happen in the world has a very important impact in the way things happen in the United States," he said. He insisted that the U.S. should have a mind toward globalization. President Trump has instead announced America's withdrawal from UNESCO -- the United Nations cultural organization -- and the country's pull-out from the environmentalist Paris Accord.
"It's very important for the United States that the U.S. engages -- engages in climate action, engages in migration but also engages in addressing crises like the crisis in Syria or Iraq or Afghanistan or South Sudan or the DRC," Guterres said. "The role of the US can be extremely important to allow for solutions to be found, to have leverage, to have pressure on the actors to these conflicts in order to be able to make them understand that it's necessary to stop those conflicts," he said. He argued that if "the U.S. doesn't occupy the space, someone else will."
A dim view on the part of the U.N. of international institutions such as the U.N. are "detrimental to American interest," Guterres said. It could result in "a lack of capacity to have a stabilizing influence in the world." Guterres said, "In the multiplicity of crises we have where conflicts are so much interlinked and linked to problems of global terrorism, I think that to disengage in world affairs also impacts negatively on the security of any people, including the American people."
Guterres told Zakaria that Trump's view of America is "not true."