President Trump Speaks at United Nations General Assembly

President Trump speaking at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. Courtesy of Time Magazine

By Alexander Santana

The world watched as President Donald Trump gave remarks to the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at its headquarters in New York City on Tuesday. Trump began his speech to the UN by saying “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” Laughter and applause soon followed from the attendees. In front of world leaders and representatives of 193 countries as well as several observer nations Trump stated that “America’s economy is booming like never before. Since my election, we’ve added $10 trillion in wealth. The stock market is at an all-time high in history, and jobless claims are at a 50-year low.” He continued “African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American unemployment have all achieved their lowest levels ever recorded. We’ve added more than four million new jobs, including half a million manufacturing jobs.”

Trump also mentioned the fact that Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 as well as the commencement of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He stated how “We have secured record funding for our military — $700 billion this year, and $716 billion next year. Our military will soon be more powerful than it has ever been before.” In his remarks Trump focused on several pressing global issues including Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis and failing economy, the Syrian Civil War, his June 2018 meeting with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, and the U.S. placing tariffs on China.

Regarding Venezuela, Trump stated “we are witnessing a human tragedy, as an example, in Venezuela. More than 2 million people have fled the anguish inflicted by the socialist Maduro regime and its Cuban sponsors.” He added “Not long ago, Venezuela was one of the richest countries on Earth. Today, socialism has bankrupted the oil-rich nation and driven its people into abject poverty.” Trump went on to say “Virtually everywhere socialism or communism has been tried, it has produced suffering, corruption, and decay. Socialism’s thirst for power leads to expansion, incursion, and oppression. All nations of the world should resist socialism and the misery that it brings to everyone.” He then asked all the nations assembled at the United Nations to “join us in calling for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.”

When talking about the civil war in Syria, Trump stated “The ongoing tragedy in Syria is heartbreaking. Our shared goals must be the de-escalation of military conflict, along with a political solution that honors the will of the Syrian people.” Trump then mentioned Iran’s role in the conflict. He argued “Every solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria must also include a strategy to address the brutal regime that has fueled and financed it: the corrupt dictatorship in Iran.” He added “Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death, and destruction. They do not respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond.”  

In his remarks Trump thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “for his courage and for the steps he has taken, though much work remains to be done.” Trump stated as a result of his June meeting with the North Korean dictator in Singapore, “The missiles and rockets are no longer flying in every direction. Nuclear testing has stopped. Some military facilities are already being dismantled. Our hostages have been released. And as promised, the remains of our fallen heroes are being returned home to lay at rest in American soil.” With regards to China, Trump mentioned how the U.S. “just announced tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese-made goods for a total, so far, of $250 billion” and how although he has” great respect and affection for my friend, President Xi” the American-Chinese “trade imbalance is just not acceptable. China’s market distortions and the way they deal cannot be tolerated.”

Trump also mentioned the decision of the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council in June and how the U.S. will not return “until real reform is enacted.” He also talked about how America “will provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court.” He stated how “as far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority. The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.” Trump asserted that “Only when each of us does our part and contributes our share can we realize the U.N.’s highest aspirations. We must pursue peace without fear, hope without despair, and security without apology.” Towards the end of his remarks Trump argued that “Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived, democracy has ever endured, or peace has ever prospered. And so we must protect our sovereignty and our cherished independence above all.”

Trump ended his remarks by saying “Let us choose peace and freedom over domination and defeat. And let us come here to this place to stand for our people and their nations, forever strong, forever sovereign, forever just, and forever thankful for the grace and the goodness and the glory of God.”

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