President Trump's eagerly awaited United Nations debut

President Trump's eagerly awaited United Nations debut

Giancarlo Strocchia
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All eyes will be on the United Nations today for President Trump's speech to the 72nd General Assembly. There are many issues on which the President could focus, including North Korea, Iran and COP21.

The meeting is traditionally the key event in the busy United Nations diary, when world leaders gather to take stock, not without a smattering of rhetoric, of the state of the crises besetting the relations between nations and to outline a possible future. Tomorrow, September 19, United States President Donald Trump will make his debut before this forum and more generally at the United Nations. Trump's first appearance is eagerly anticipated, according to the New York Times, to find how tough American foreign policy is going to be from this point on, or see whether the U.S. Administration's recent changes of heart point towards somewhat softer stances on still-open questions, such as North Korea, Iran and COP21, to mention only a few examples.

His much-awaited speech could reassign to the U.S. President the role of global leader of the free and democratic world which, as noted by Fortune, Trump has given up - it is unclear whether voluntarily or not - to other international heads of state and government leaders such as Angela Merkel, who is today more widely considered to be the political and moral leader of the free world and the West than he is.

The concept of sovereignty according to the White House

U.S. National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster has stated that President Trump will stress that the key objectives of the United States are “peace” and “sovereignty”. According to McMaster, "sovereignty and accountability are the essential foundations of peace and prosperity." America, he said, "respects the sovereignty of other nations, expects other nations to do the same, and urges all governments to be accountable to their citizens." Judging by the steps taken by President Trump, particularly with respect to foreign policy, it seems that his concept of sovereignty could signal the wish by the United States to act according to criteria that often lie outside those of the international community.

Similar comments have also been made by Stewart Patrick, the Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program of the Council on Foreign Relations, according to whom President Trump is expected to tackle one of the key issues of his administration, and one which has so far not emerged very clearly, namely what role the United Nations might play, in terms of the instruments or the means that could promote U.S. foreign policy objectives. In this respect, it is worth noting that only in December 2016 President Trump tweeted a message in which he defined international organizations as “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.” At this point, all we can do is wait for Trump to take to the podium of the U.N. General Assembly, and find out from the first truly comprehensive speech on American foreign policy he has ever delivered what horizons the United States is prefiguring for the planet in the coming years.