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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Donald Trump to address weapons proliferation and drugs at UN General Assembly

UN General Assembly 2018: US ambassador reveals president's schedule for annual gathering of world leaders

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres listens as US President Donald Trump speaks during the 2017 UN General Assembly. Reuters
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres listens as US President Donald Trump speaks during the 2017 UN General Assembly. Reuters

President Donald Trump will call for global action on the world drug problem, lay out his vision of the US role in the world, and urge a halt to the spread of weapons of mass destruction during next week's gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said Mr Trump's focus "will be very much on the United States", its role and the relations it wants to build, and "how we can make the American people proud, and what actions we can show that really live up to that".

"He 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," she told reporters. "He wants to talk about protecting US sovereignty" and "we want to continue to build relationships" with other countries that "share those values."

Ms Haley said the US president would address a high-level event on Monday on the "Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem", which 124 countries have already signed up to support. She said the US was looking forward to more signatories.

The president will address the assembly's 193 member nations at the official opening on Tuesday morning of the General Debate.

Mr Trump will talk about the generosity of the United States, Ms Haley said. "But he'll also lay down a marker that while the United States is generous, we're going to be generous to those who share our values, generous to those who want to work with us, and not those that try and stop the United States or say they hate America, or are counterproductive to what we're doing."

On Wednesday, Mr Trump will chair a Security Council meeting for which the agenda has been expanded from focusing on Iran to nonproliferation, including chemical weapons attacks in Syria and Britain.

"I'm sure that is going to be the most watched Security Council meeting ever," Ms Haley said.

After report last week suggested that Mr Trump might not in fact chair the meeting, he tweeted on Friday and confirmed his attendance.

Mr Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, chaired two Security Council meetings, one in 2009 focusing on nuclear disarmament and another in 2014 on "foreign terrorist fighters".

Ms Haley said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will chair a council meeting on Thursday to look at North Korea's progress toward denuclaearisation — which she called "baby steps" — and the council's commitments to enforce tough sanctions.

The White House said Mr Trump would also have "pull-aside" meetings with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Maria Fernanda Espinosa, the General Assembly president. He will have longer bilateral meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, French President Emmanuel Macron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

On the social side, Ms Haley said the president and his wife, Melania, will host a reception for all delegates Monday night. Mr Trump will also host a reception on Tuesday evening for foreign ministers of the 15 current Security Council member nations and the five countries that will be joining the council January 1.

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