You are here: Prime Minister May's speech to the UN General Assembly

26 September 2018

UK Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the UN General Assembly today. The 19-minute speech voiced strong support for a rules-based global system based on open societies and mutual cooperation.

She also spoke about the need for practical action to meet the concerns of those that feel left behind by the current global economic system.

UNA-UK was particularly pleased to hear the Prime Minister speak of the need to provide adequate funding for "those parts of the UN that deliver results", juxtaposing her call with praise for the UN's human rights system. UNA-UK frequently draws attention to the fact that human rights remains by some distance the least well funded of the UN's "three pillars": peace and security, development and human rights.

The statement is available here. Audio and video files will be made available here.

Responding to the speech, Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director of the United Nations Association - UK, said:

The Prime Minister has identified the problem. Our global system works, but it needs to work for all. And the key to making it do so is investment in the United Nations.

Earlier in the day the Prime Minister spoke to the UN Security Council at an event chaired by the President of the United States. We were pleased to hear her speak out in support of the 2015 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the Iran nuclear deal. UNA-UK believes this deal is effective and vital to global nuclear security. The UK's approach to other parts of the nuclear security architecture is less positive - read our briefing on nuclear threats for more information.

To find out more about the UN General Assembly and our takes on the key issues under discussion please read our briefing

Is the UK practicing what it preaches? Have a look at our Global Britian Scorecard.

Photo: UN Photo/Cia Pak 2017