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Analysis

United Nations General Assembly: What to Expect This Year?

Monday 24 September 2018
United Nations General Assembly: What to Expect This Year?

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Alwaght- The world once again prepares to see the annual diplomatic event, the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. The event is the biggest gathering of the world leaders held every year to discuss the challenges to the global peace and stability, express their stances on them, and together seek ways to confront them.

The UN is the biggest system to maintain the collective security in the history of the international relations, seeking to address a wide range of challenges from growing global violence to refugees crises to famine all caused by the disputes in the region like what is happening in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Palestine. Global warming and the North Korea nuclear crisis are also expected to be addressed in the event.

The world against the US unilateralism

The 73rd gathering of the UNGA comes while over the last year the world has witnessed the expansion of the American unilateral actions under the presidency of Donald Trump, something crucially putting at stake the international stability. In nearly two years of his presidency, President Trump pulled Washington out of many significant international agreements and abandoned the US commitments. The first move was withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, signed under his predecessor Barack Obama. He then moved out of the UN cultural organization UNESCO. The latest measures were withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, threatening the international war crimes court with sanctions, and cutting off the budget of the UNRWA, United Nations Relief and Aid Agency for Palestinian Refugees.

Trump's “America first policy” has been damaging to Washington’s decades-long strategic alliance with some of the countries around the world. Over the past few months, for instance, the American leader has been putting strains on some of the closest European allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to increase their share in the military bloc’s budget or else the White House will consider withdrawal from the alliance. This drives the Europeans to cast doubt on the NATO ability to address all of their security concerns in the future.

Trump also pursues a mercantilist approach in the foreign trade, igniting a trade war with the big trade partners which the economists say will pose a real threat to the world economic growth.

The US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley on Thursday told the press that Trump will discuss a variety of issues in his address to the UNGA. She said he will talk about “protecting the US sovereignty” as a top element of the America first policy. According to her, the president will reiterate his opposition to the Paris agreement on global warming which was agreed in 2015 by a large number of countries. Haley continued that Trump will raise the idea of a new international pact to regulate the immigration globally.

On the other side, President Immanuel Macron of France, as a main supporter of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his address is expected to blast the unilateralism and impatience and call for multilateralism for the sake of world peace. The experts predict that a significant part of the world leaders’ speeches at the meeting will focus on expressing opposition to the US government's one-sided policies which are seen as destabilizing the world order.

World polarity and crises broaden

Other major issues that are expected to come in the spotlight at the UNGA are the political, humanitarian, and environmental crises the world is grappling with today. Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman to the UN secretary-general, has stated that the UN has received some 342 calls for meetings in the intensive week of UNGA. The meetings, he went on, are related to the crises in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Mali, and the Central African Republic, Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, and Palestine. He also pointed to other cases for which meetings are called such as girls’ education, modern slavery, efforts to uproot poverty, and celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights.

The attempts to address these cases come while geopolitical the competition between the world powers widens the East-West polarity. The widening gaps between the global powers, the analysts warn, make it hard, and in some cases impossible, to reach a common view and understanding in the near future to settle the present crises.

The North Korea nuclear negotiations are once again in a hole as a result of the US treachery to disarm Pyongyang and simultaneously keep the sanctions which draw China and Russia objection, after optimism followed negotiations and historic meeting between Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

In Syria crisis, whereas the Western parties and their regional allies take pains to save the terrorists in their last major stronghold of Idlib province, Russia, Iran, and China, three of which building a strong camp against the Western interventionism, press to cleanse Syria of the terrorist groups and restore Idlib under administration of the central Syrian government.

But the gravest humanitarian crisis is absolutely taking place in Yemen, where a Saudi-Emirati aggression over the past three years has taken lives of thousands and displaced millions of Yemenis, who are in an urgent need for food and medical aids amid a suffocating air, sea, and land blockade by the Arab coalition.

So far, the international efforts to end the Saudi-led bloodshed and massacring of the civilians have gone nowhere as the aggressors and their Western backers turned a blind eye to the world demands to stop the war. The UNGA is expected to hold meetings to coordinate the international efforts to fight famine, cholera, and displacement, though the Western parties, which are the sham supporters of the human rights, still show no will to resolve the devastating crisis in Yemen. 

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UN General Assembly US Crisis Trump Syria Yemen Global Warming

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