In his speech at the UN General Assembly in September 2020, President Donald J. Trump stressed how the UN should focus on the “real problems of the world” in order to be an effective organization. The US has often balanced between its own national interests and leadership, on the one hand, and acting through the United Nations and the international community, on the other. An often-heard argument is that the US should not give up its sovereignty and that the UN should act more effectively. But what does this actually mean and how is this position defended? These questions will be the starting points for an in-depth discussion on the United States and the United Nations, specifically in terms of human rights.