President Donald Trump will emphasize the need for United Nations reform when addressing the UN General Assembly this week in New York, today announced White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
“It will be part of his message that the United Nations needs reform,” said McMaster, interviewed on ABC’s “This Week.”
“The president is going to say that the United Nations can not be effective if it does not reform its bureaucracy and unless it achieves a greater degree of responsibility for the Member States,” added McMaster.
Trump, who criticized the organization and called it “a club for people to meet, talk and have fun,” will go to the General Assembly for the first time next Tuesday.
His speech comes as the UN faces North Korea’s nuclear aggression, prompting a rare unanimous vote by the Security Council in August to issue new sanctions against Pyongyang.
On this issue, McMaster said that we should not joke about the North Korean threat, minutes after the president himself scoffed at the issue in one of his already classic and controversial Twitter messages.
“I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night and asked him how he is going to the Missile Man,” the president wrote in his account of that social network.
But McMaster, in another interview for Fox News Sunday, reiterated that North Korea is close to threatening the United States with a nuclear weapon.
“We really have to move very urgently, in terms of sanctions, in diplomacy and in the preparation, if necessary, of a military option,” he said.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said today that the presence of the US president in the General Assembly will be “a new day for the UN.”
“It’s a new day at the UN. I think the pleas he made (Trump) in terms of trying to see a change in the United Nations have been heard and I think what we’ll do is see him respond to that,” Haley said in the chain CNN.
“What you see now is that the issue of Israel has become more balanced, an action-oriented United Nations Organization, we have passed two resolutions on North Korea in the last month. It is moving towards reform,” he said.
Trump harshly criticized the agency during the election campaign, claiming that it had expressed anti-Israeli positions and that it had not taken action on many international issues as well as the fact that it was too dependent on US funding.
According to the magnate’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway, Trump “will promote peace, promote prosperity and promote sovereignty and accountability.”
Speaking today for Fox’s favorite show, “Fox and Friends,” Conway insisted the UN General Assembly will provide an opportunity for the billionaire to present his “First United States” stance to a global body.
“It will reaffirm the global leadership of the United States, it is not a president apologizing for the United States, it is a president who will reaffirm the position of the United States in the world,” reiterated the presidential adviser regarding the isolationist positions of the president.
Trump and North Korea focus on UN big week
The premiere of US President Donald Trump and the crisis with North Korea will be the mainstay of the UN General Assembly, which from tomorrow makes New York the center of world diplomacy.
More than 120 Heads of State and Government are expected to meet in New York to participate not only in the high-level debates of the General Assembly, but in some of the conferences to be held, as well as bilateral meetings.
In addition to North Korea, the situation in Venezuela, Burma, Syria, Libya, in several African conflicts or the future of the nuclear agreement with Iran will be at the center of the discussions of the thousands of diplomatic representatives concentrated in the city.
However, Trump’s first appearance to world leaders is the event that aroused the most excitement. His speech is scheduled for Tuesday, the day in which the debates of the General Assembly officially open.
Very critical of the UN and an eminently nationalist message, the US president will have the opportunity to draw his vision of the world and his major priorities in the international arena.
The White House will use this week to insist on the need for reforms within the United Nations, after threatening a significant cut in funding.
Trump will chair a summit of heads of state on Monday to push for changes in UN management, a meeting that will also include the head of the organization, António Guterres.
The Portuguese, who will also be living his first General Assembly in office, has proposed a broad reform agenda, largely in pursuit of winning over the United States. and to manage the delicate relationship with the new tenant of the White House, who a few months ago came to refer to the UN as a “club” of people who come together to “have fun.”
Trump, in addition, struck a blow to the United Nations by announcing in June that US will abandon the Paris Agreement on climate change, which the organization considers one of its great triumphs of the last years.
This week Guterres trusted that Trump brings a constructive message to the United Nations and recalled that he has been doing everything possible to make relations with Washington positive.
In parallel to the leaders’ speeches at the General Assembly, the UN will be the scene of countless parallel meetings to address both crises and conflicts, as well as more general priorities, from climate change to the problem of sexual abuse committed by “blue helmets.”
Among the pressing issues, the North Korea highlights, which will focus much of the bilateral meetings that will be throughout the week.
The issue, which has occupied much of the Security Council’s discussions in recent months, will be brought back to the table of that United Nations body at a ministerial meeting to be held on Thursday.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho will come to New York and meet, among others, Guterres, who seeks to push for some sort of diplomatic solution to the conflict. His speech at the General Assembly is scheduled for Friday.
It remains to be seen whether the talks on North Korea will be affected by the absence in the General Assembly of two key players: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian Vladimir Putin.
Neither will the Venezuelan leader, Nicolás Maduro, be in New York, but the situation in the country will be addressed by others.
On Monday, Trump will discuss the issue at a dinner party with several Latin American leaders, while Wednesday will meet the chancellors of the so-called Lima Group, a dozen critical American countries with Maduro.
Among other things, the meeting will discuss whether to postpone the summit between Latin America and the European Union planned for October in El Salvador, which the Venezuelan crisis has left in the air.