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UN General Assembly to convene this week

23 September 2018

Here are the top issues that will be on the agenda for the 73rd General Assembly. President Hassan Rouhani, perhaps warming up for his United Nations address Tuesday, warned against any US strike on Iran when speaking at a military parade: "The same will happen to Trump".

With many world leaders now feeling more confident in their relationships with the president, Center for Strategic and International Studies' Michael Green said some leaders will be looking to subtly buck the president and engage in subtle acts of defiance even as they will look to publicly project unity with the US leader.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters on Thursday that Trump's "is looking forward to talking about foreign policy successes the United States has had over the past year and where we're going to go from here".

Iran is clearly on the president's mind as he heads into the week, tweeting Friday that he would chair a special U.N. Security Council meeting about the country, even though the administration says it will actually be broadly focused on nonproliferation.

Next week at the U.N., Trump plans to stay on message, touting his drive to protect US sovereignty before world leaders, some of them anxious about America's commitment to the multilateralism that has governed the United Nations since the end of World War II.

"I don't think it will be that entertaining at all", said one senior United Nations diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Trump is able to preside over the 15-member council as the United States holds the monthly rotating presidency, which coincides with the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations in NY this week. Since last year's General Assembly, the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the cuts in aid to Palestinians and recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the tariffs on aluminum and steel, and most recently the threats to the International Criminal Court have been fiercely opposed by Europe and Canada.

"I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet", Trump said at the White House on July 30.

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The Trump administration is now in talks with India on issues related to Iranian sanctions.

The U.S. concept note on the meeting circulated to Security Council members does not specifically mention any countries.

Pompeo has been a chief proponent of Trump's efforts to confront Iran.

"It will be the most watched Security Council meeting ever..." It raises the prospect of an encounter, chance or otherwise, between Trump and Rouhani.

Doesn't sound good. But remember, Trump a year ago drew global gasps when he threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea during his U.N. General Assembly speech.

Moon will be pushing Trump to sign a declaration to officially end the Korean War, something the USA has said it will not do until North Korea takes steps to denuclearize.

To that end, Secretary Pompeo has also offered to meet with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho during the week as he prepares to head back to Pyongyang to revive negotiations.

UN General Assembly to convene this week