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Trump’s silence on climate change, human rights and Russia speaks volumes

13 10 0
22.09.2017

U.S. President Donald Trump’s opening speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday is drawing widespread criticism for his aggressive statements about North Korea and Iran, but it is just as significant for what he didn’t mention at all.

In a 42-minute address that stunned many listeners, Trump called the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man on a suicide mission” and vowed to “totally destroy” the country if it attacks the United States. He promised to crush “loser terrorists.” He called the Iran nuclear deal an “embarrassment” and said portions of the world are “going to hell.”

The overarching theme of Trump’s speech was sovereignty – a word he used 21 times. It was a strange emphasis in an increasingly interconnected, globalized world. Though in line with his "America first" platform, it was highly unusual for a U.S. leader speaking in a global forum that stands for peace through cooperation. What Trump left out was just as important: he did not offset his emphasis on sovereignty - with its implication that what a nation does within its borders is of no concern to the international community - with an assertion of the primacy of universal human rights or Washington’s commitment to promoting democracy.

Indeed, Presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush, their vast ideological differences notwithstanding, sounded far........

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