The enigma of President Donald Trump will hit the world stage today at the start of the 4-day United Nations summit. This could very well be the President’s biggest moment since taking over as leader of the free world. It may also prove to be a disaster. At this point, there’s no telling which way the ball will drop.
The best thing going for him is that events like these tend to be when he’s at his best. Unlike his Twitter persona or adversarial stance that he takes when addressing mainstream media, the president has always done well talking directly to “big wigs.” Even as a business man, he regularly worked directly with politicians and even heads of state. He has another advantage: his unpredictability. There may not be a whole lot of people in the room who like him, but most will want to get on his good side based upon his willingness to lash at publicly at those who cross him.
There’s a good chance that he may have the opposite effect on world leaders. If he overplays his hand with the wrong people, gets threatening when he should be diplomatic, or attempts to get diplomatic when he should be threatening, he could start new relationships with world leaders on the wrong foot.
There’s a ton on the table at this summit. Just in the last couple of weeks, the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate deal, and an unstable North Korea have been dominating world news. All will be discussed. All of those discussions have the opportunity to become contentious.
Perhaps the biggest question looming over this particular summit is the future of the United Nations itself. Candidate Trump was very critical of the worldwide body and expressed extreme displeasure in the way the organization is funded. The United States pays by far the most out of the 120 or so nations involved, yet seems to receive little to no direct benefit. The word that’s been floated around by White House insiders is “reform.”
Here’s what’s buzzing so far about the summit:
Mr. Trump will be pushing reforms to the U.N. and rethinking America’s massive contributions, brokering economic deals around the world and trying to inspire global resolve to confront North Korea, Iran, Islamic State and other threats, top aides say.
“The message he’s going to deliver in that speech is first he’s going to promote and advocate for the strength of democratic values. And he’s going to reinforce that it is those shared values that bind our alliances together and that have kept the world a stable place,” Tillerson said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
Trump heads to first UN summit amid uncertainty on North Korea, Iran, Paris climate deal | Sarah Westwood, Washington Examiner
“At first glance, you’d think that this would be sort of a train wreck or a potential major confrontation,” said Stewart Patrick, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “He’s going into, in a sense, the belly of the beast in terms of globalism.”
If the president goes in and uses his natural skills to win over the body and forge stronger relationships with world leaders, this could be exactly what the United States needs in order to rein in the United Nation’s failing world agenda. If he goes off the reservation completely, it could be disastrous. We’ll eagerly wait for his Tuesday address.
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