Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY
President Trump’s first address to the U.N. General Assembly today will put forward his “America First” values that are driven “by outcomes, not by ideologies” and an appeal to U.S. nationalism and the nationalism of other countries, according to a senior White House official. Farnaz Fassihi and Eli Stokols report at the Wall Street Journal.
Trump will warn U.N. member states that they risk being “bystanders in history” if they fail to confront global threats such as North Korea and Iran, according to a senior White House official, presenting the two countries as forces for greater instability if the international community fails to address their behavior now. Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.
Trump will also target Venezuela and Islamist militants in his speech, senior White House officials said, Steve Holland and Jeff Mason report at Reuters.
“We are giving it an absolute go,” Trump said in relation to the Israel-Palestinian peace process at a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the U.N. yesterday, marking a different tone to Netanyahu who focused on bashing the Iran nuclear deal. Mark Landler reports at the New York Times.
“Make the United Nations great,” Trump told reporters yesterday after attending a session focused on reforming U.N. institutions, stating during the meeting that leaders of the world should not settle for “business as usual.” David Nakamaru and Anne Gearan report at the Washington Post.
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho is scheduled to arrive in New York today to attend the General Assembly amid increased tension on the Korean peninsula. The AP reports.
The U.N. peacekeeping mission faces significant cuts in its budget and must consider how to do more with less funding, Trump telling the assembly yesterday that the U.S. “ask that every peacekeeping mission have clearly defined goals and metrics for evaluating success,” adding that he wanted to cap the U.S. contributions to the mission. Aaron Ross and David Lewis report at Reuters.
Live coverage of the General Assembly meeting is provided by the Wall Street Journal.
The global challenges that will dominate the annual gathering include the North Korea crisis, the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, international terrorism, climate change, and the Gulf crisis. Edith M. Lederer observes at the AP.
Trump was a subdued figure at the first day of the General Assembly, pledging to cooperate with world leaders to restructure the U.N. and refraining from aggressive anti-U.N. rhetoric deployed throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, however a different and hardline side of the president is expected today during his inaugural speech. Peter Baker and Somini Sengupta observe at the New York Times.
The annual meeting will feature plenty of discussion but few actions to deal with the crises facing the world, Ishaan Tharoor provides an analysis at the Washington Post.
The actions by the U.S. and its “vassal forces” to put pressure on North Korea “will only increase our pace towards the ultimate completion of the state nuclear force,” a statement on North Korean state media said yesterday, Al Jazeera reports.
The U.S. has military options to deal with North Korea and the U.S. has not intercepted recent North Korean missile launches because they have been falling “in the middle of the ocean,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters yesterday, stating that a North Korean missile aimed at Guam or U.S. territory “would elicit a different response,” Helene Cooper reports at the New York Times. Continue Reading »