Washington's new ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, vowed Friday to show US strength in global affairs and delivered a blunt warning to opponents of President Donald Trump's policies.
"For those who don't have our backs: we're taking names," Haley told reporters at she arrived at UN headquarters for her first meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"Our goal with the administration is to show value at the UN, and the way that we will show value is to show our strength, show our voice and have the backs of our allies and make sure that our allies have our back as well," she said.
The former South Carolina governor made her first remarks at UN headquarters before presenting her diplomatic credentials to Guterres.
Their first meeting is expected to be clouded by reports of a draft executive order being prepared at the White House that could deprive the United Nations of billions of dollars in US financial support.
The 45-year-old daughter of Indian immigrants said she was ready to push for an overhaul of the United Nations and made clear there would be cuts.
"This is a time of strength. This is a time of action. This is a time of getting things done," Haley said.
"Everything that is working, we are going to make it better. Everything that is not working we are going to try and fix. Everything that seems to be obsolete and not necessary, we're going to do away with it," she said.
Trump has dismissed the United Nations as "just a club for people to get together and have a good time."
The United States is by far the UN's biggest financial contributor, providing 22 percent of its operating budget and funding 28 percent of peacekeeping missions, which currently cost $7.8 billion annually.
Following leaks of the draft order in US newspapers, the UN spokesman said Guterres was eager to start discussions with the new US administration on the way forward.
Guterres, who took over from Ban Ki-moon on January 1, has also called for changes at the United Nations to improve its ability to respond to crises