Show an ad over header. AMP

Trump and Xi to give dueling speeches Tuesday at UN General Assembly

President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping will address the UN General Assembly just minutes apart on Tuesday morning — with Russia’s Vladimir Putin following soon thereafter.

The big picture: Trump has promised a “strong message on China.” Xi, meanwhile, is expected to laud global cooperation — with the clear implication that it can be led from Beijing.


Setting the scene: The 75th annual General Assembly will be unrecognizable, with more world leaders (173) than ever addressing the forum, but all of them doing so via pre-recorded videos.

  • The “great power” rivals are joined on Tuesday morning’s agenda by several other powerful men, including Emmanuel Macron of France and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
  • And yes, they will all be men. A provisional schedule showed the first female speaker — President Zuzana Caputova of Slovakia — 53rd on the agenda.
  • The speeches will continue through next Tuesday, but there will be no motorcades clogging Manhattan streets, world leaders conferring in hallways, or frenzied shuffling between side-summits.
  • But there will nonetheless be a diplomatic crisis rumbling on in the background.

The backstory: The U.S. initiated a “snapback” mechanism at the UN Security Council last month to reimpose sanctions on Iran lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal.

  • Trump says those sanctions came back into force yesterday and are needed to prevent Iran from buying weapons. He also added new unilateral sanctions on Iran today via executive order.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted today that “every member state in the United Nations has a responsibility to enforce these sanctions.”
  • But all of the deal's other signatories have rejected the move, and the U.K., France and Germany have vowed to ignore it.
  • Between the lines: They're desperate to keep the nuclear deal afloat in spite of Trump's efforts.

Zoom out: Many diplomats at the UN view their jobs in much the same way.

  • One one hand: The Trump administration dismisses multilateralism and has announced America's withdrawal from several UN agencies, including the World Health Organization.
  • On the other: A rising China is hardly likely to promote many of the values the UN has attempted to stand for. Of its primary missions, the UN wins the most respect for its work on human rights, according to new Pew data from 14 countries.

What they’re saying: UN Secretary General António Guterres believes the global order going through a "rather chaotic" transition period.

  • The future global roles of the U.S. and China are still to be defined, he says, even as they engage in a confrontation that could end in "a big rupture."
  • “ I think we are not yet there," he told GZERO Media of a return to Cold War-style bifurcation. "We are in a process that is still unpredictable and we will have to see what happens in the next two or three years to have a clear perspective.”

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to congressional leadership

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities tied to Iranian-backed militia groups in Syria was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

Keep reading... Show less

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

The Food and Drugs Administration on Saturdayissued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Keep reading... Show less

Italy tightens COVID restrictions for 5 regions amid warnings of a growing prevalence of variants

Italy on Saturday announced it was tightening restrictions in five of the country's 20 regions in an effort curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The announcement comes as health experts and scientists warn of the more transmissible coronavirus variants, per Reuters.

Keep reading... Show less

Palestinian Authority announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday announced fresh coronavirus restrictions, including a partial lockdown, for the occupied West Bank as COVID-19 cases surge.

The big picture: The new measures come as Israel, which leads the world in vaccinations, faces increased pressure to ensure Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have equal access to vaccines.

Keep reading... Show less

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Biden admin call on Putin pipeline provokes GOP anger

A briefing between the State Department and congressional staff over Vladimir Putin's Russia-Germany gas pipeline got tense this week, with Biden officials deflecting questions about why they hadn't moved faster and more aggressively with sanctions tostop its completion.

  • The Biden officials also denied negotiating with the Germans over a potential side deal to allow the pipeline to be finished.
Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories