United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Washington, D.C., from Belgium, on Wednesday evening, 16 May.
Early on Thursday morning, the Secretary-General began a series of meetings with United States legislators on Capitol Hill, starting with a breakfast meeting with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He then met with the House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, and later with Representative Dave Brat of the Freedom Caucus.
Later that afternoon, he continued his legislative meetings, including with House Minority Leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi; Senator Richard Shelby, Chair of the Appropriations Committee; and Senator Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader.
The Secretary-General briefed the members of Congress on ongoing United Nations reform initiatives, both ones that he’s working on with Member States and others that fall under his own authority, including the gender parity initiative. He thanked them for the continuing support of the United States, notably on assessed contributions. They also discussed a wide range of issues.
On Friday morning, the Secretary-General met at the White House with United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and United States National Security Advisor John Bolton.
He was then hosted by the Heritage Foundation for a meeting with Kay Coles James, President, and Ambassador Kim Holmes, the Executive Vice-President of the foundation. The Secretary-General had an exchange of views about the United Nations.
In the afternoon, the Secretary-General returned to the White House for a meeting with United States President Donald J. Trump. During the meeting, in which the Secretary-General was joined by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, there was a discussion about the situation in the broader Middle East, the Korean Peninsula and the ongoing United Nations reform. The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation for the continued United States engagement in the work of the United Nations.
Also on Friday, the Secretary-General visited the World Bank headquarters where he, and the World Bank Group President Jim Kim, signed an agreement to work closer together to help countries implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve measurable results to transform their economies and societies. The agreement, known as the Strategic Partnership Framework, includes four key areas of cooperation. The two institutions will cooperate in finding financial and other necessary resources to help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and harness data to improve development outcomes.
On Saturday afternoon, the Secretary-General addressed the graduating class of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He encouraged the newly minted graduates to heed the vision of Father Edmond Walsh, the school’s founder, by engaging in a life of service. His message to the graduates was: where my generation has failed, please make sure your generation delivers through service to others.
Standing in for the Secretary-General for the graduation ceremony for the students receiving their master’s degree from the School of Foreign Service, his Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, said that the vitality, passion and creativity of youth, coupled with the values that underpin an education at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, are the best possible combination to confront the challenges of the world we live in. Mr. Dujarric went on to challenge the graduates to get involved, to never sit on the sidelines and to do even more than they had already achieved.
The Secretary-General flew back to New York later on Saturday.