US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with UN Secretart General Antonio Guterres at the State Department on Thursday.
“It’s a real pleasure to have the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres here at the State Department today continuing the vital collaboration that the United States and United Nations have on pretty much every issue that we’re dealing with around the world,” Blinken said.
Blink en commended Guterres for “his remarkable leadership, particularly in upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter, the work that he’s personally undertaken with regard to the Black Sea Grain Initiative in Ukraine to try to make sure that grain and wheat – food – from Ukraine continues to make it onto world markets.”
“We’re working very closely together to deal with the crisis in Sudan, hopefully working toward a more enduring ceasefire, a cessation of hostilities, and helping to put Sudan back on the track that it was on to a civilian-led government while dealing with, I think, an increasingly challenging humanitarian situation there.,” he said ahead of their meeting.
“And of course, we’re also working closely together when it comes to Afghanistan – the deep concerns that so many countries share about the steps the Taliban has taken when it comes to denying the rights of women and girls, the broader humanitarian and economic situation, where again, the United Nations is playing a leadership role. On this and so many other issues, our collaboration, our coordination is more vital than ever,” he said.
He said the United States is intensely focused on the concerns that the vast majority of members of the United Nations have day-in, day-out when it comes to building greater food security around the world, when it comes to dealing with climate change, energy security, inclusive economic growth, and the absolutely vital development goals that we have set for ourselves and that we need to continue to drive to achieve. There as well, for us, the United Nations is the vital partner. I look forward to discussing all of this and no doubt more with the secretary-general.
The UN chief said that when the world is in trouble, as we are today with the war in Ukraine, with conflict spreading everywhere, with the being late in our efforts in relation to climate change, and with enormous difficulties in large parts of the world due to a dramatic economic and financial crisis that developing countries are facing, in this troubled world the cooperation between the United States and the United Nations is absolutely central. “But I wanted particularly to express my gratitude, appreciation for the cooperation we have had recently in Sudan,” he added.
“Both Secretary Blinken and myself, we’re trying to broker ceasefires – broker successive ceasefires – in both cases with some success, but not the success we would like to have,” he said. “And I want to express my gratitude for the support that U.S. security (inaudible) have given to the important operation of relocation that we did – a convoy of 1,200 mostly staff members of the UN, but also of NGOs and of different missions from Khartoum to Port Sudan in the middle of a very difficult situation. And indeed, the cooperation with the U.S. and with the U.S. (inaudible) office was absolutely precious for us. So thank you very much for that support.”
The meeting comes as the UN chief will host a meeting of special envoys in Doha about Afghanistan next week.