US President Donald Trump will be making his debut at the UN General Assembly in New York. Over 130 world leaders are attending the event.
What can we expect?
US President Donald Trump has an enigmatic relationship with the international community. A strong proponent of “America First” policy, he has been critical of free trade and international bodies in the past. He has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and has threatened to nullify NAFTA as well. He has also been criticized for pulling out of the Paris Agreement, which has been ratified by 160 nations.
Additionally, his interactions with world leaders during international forums has also come under scrutiny. A video of him pushing aside the leader of Montenegro during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit went viral across social media and other platforms. He also openly criticized the leaders present during his speech.
Trump’s relationship with the UN has been rocky. Under his direction, U.N. General Assembly voted Friday to cut $600 million from the organization's nearly $8 billion annual peacekeeping budget. The UN had been lobbying for more funds at the time. The US would save $150 million due to the cuts.
Trump has also criticized the fact the US continues being the largest donor of the UN. The nation contributed $611 million in 2017 to the UN budget of $2.5 billion. Additionally, US contributes more than $2 billion to multiple UN programs including the World Food Program and the UN Peacekeeping.
During the presidential campaign, Trump had mocked the function of the UN describing it as a “club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”
However, in the recent months, the US has been a prominent player in UN sessions. The nation was instrumental in urging the UN to impose harsh sanctions on North Korea. The country has also been lobbying against the Iran nuclear deal. It is likely that the President might mention his discomfort of the deal while addressing the world leaders. The US is also slated to hold a trilateral meeting with India and Japan. Additionally, Trump will have a working dinner with leaders of Latin American nations to discuss the escalating crisis in Venezuela. It is unlikely he will discuss his plans to build a wall between the America and Mexico, which is a Latin American nation.
In a bid to address the North Korea nuclear crisis, he will also be holding talks with South Korea and Japan - two nations direly affected by North Korea’s aggression.
Our assessment is that the President of the United States will be stepping on the biggest stage at a time when there are multiple political crises across the world. All eyes will be on him as he attempts to strike deals and put out geopolitical fires. The meeting is especially important in regards to the world’s response to North Korea and Iran.