UN counts on Trump to combat climate change, advance rights

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The United Nations will count on Donald Trump's new US administration to help combat climate change and advance human rights worldwide, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.

Ban congratulated the US president-elect on his victory and said people everywhere look to the United States to work for the common good.

Trump has made no secret of his disregard for the United Nations, which he has described as ineffective and a waste of taxpayer money, and has pledged to withdraw from the Paris climate deal.

Describing the United States as an "essential actor across the international agenda", Ban made a plea for continued US engagement in the world.

"The United Nations will count on the new administration to strengthen the bonds of international cooperation as we strive together to uphold shared ideals, combat climate change, advance human rights," Ban told reporters at UN headquarters.

"People everywhere look to the United States to use its remarkable power to help lift humanity up and to work for the common good."

Ban championed the climate deal cafter the United States, China and other big polluters joined the international agreement.

"Today's global challenges demand concerted global action and joint solutions," he said.

Trump, who has no experience in government, has expressed his distrust of international organizations like the United Nations and NATO.

"Where do you ever see the United Nations?" Trump told the New York Times in an interview in April.

"Do they ever settle anything? It's just like a political game. The United Nations — I mean the money we spend on the United Nations."

The United States is the biggest contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, providing some 29 percent of the nearly $ 8 billion budget for UN missions worldwide.

The UN chief also expressed his "deep appreciation" to defeated candidate Hillary Clinton, saying she was a "powerful global symbol of women's empowerment".

He praised her "lifetime commitment to peace, the advancement of women and the well-being of children."