President Donald Trump delivered his second speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, September 25th. Its overarching theme was the primacy of national sovereignty as the best organizing principle to help foster prosperity, peace and freedom in the world.
Contrary to the distortions of his position by globalists and his enemies more generally, President Trump is not disowning the United Nations. To the contrary, he views the UN within the framework that was originally conceived by its founders. The UN was seen at its inception as an international body of sovereign nations brought together for the purpose of fostering cooperation, while taking collective action where warranted against threats to international peace and security.
The United Nations Charter specifically recognizes the sovereign status of the member states. It stipulates that the United Nations does not have the authority “to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.” The history of the UN’s founding is clear that the United States would not have become a member of the United Nations without such assurances.
In globalist circles, however, such talk is anathema. Globalists believe that national sovereignty is atavistic – a relic of the past that should be consigned to the dustbin of history. The world, they argue, needs to be governed by a transnational system of international law under the auspices of a strengthened United Nations and sister global governance institutions such as the International Criminal Court.
With the backing of successive United Nations Secretary Generals, the UN bureaucracy, like-minded leaders of member states and globalist non-governmental organizations, UN expansionists have sought to create international institutional frameworks that would govern precisely the types of activities that nation states have historically reserved for themselves. Globalists are uncomfortable with anything less than subordinating national sovereignty to their notion of global citizenship in a world where individual nations would surrender much of their governance powers to one or more supranational bodies.
As President Trump has made repeatedly clear, he rejects the globalists' premise. He adheres to the Founding Fathers’ cardinal principle that the United States is a self-governing sovereign democratic republic for whose citizens the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. “In America, we believe in the majesty of freedom and the dignity of the individual,” he declared in his General Assembly address. “We believe in self-government, and rule of law. We prize the culture that sustained our liberty. Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived. And so, we must protect our sovereignty and our cherished Independence above all.”
Regarding the “ongoing tragedy in Syria,” the president declared that “the United States will respond if chemical weapons are deployed by the Assad regime.” He called for “the de-escalation of military conflict along with a political solution that honors the well-being of the Syrian people” and urged that “the United Nations-led peace process be reinvigorated.”
President Trump was unsparing in his condemnation of the Iranian regime, whose “corrupt” leaders, he said, “plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond.” The president explained that his “decision to withdraw the United States from the horrible 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose nuclear sanctions” was supported by “so many countries in the Middle East.” This was a direct slap at the Western European nations who have criticized the president’s decision as unilateral and plan to continue doing business with the Iranian regime.
Finally, President Trump made it clear that the days of the United States’ open-ended generosity in funding the United Nations and providing foreign aid are over. “We are grateful for all of the work the United Nations does around the world to help people build better lives for themselves and their families,” he said. However, the United States will not participate in dysfunctional UN bodies such as the Human Rights Council, which refused to reform its ways after repeated warnings from the president himself and U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. The president also made clear his intention that the United States pay no more than 25 percent of the UN peacekeeping budget, rather than 28.47 percent of its budget of $6.8 billion as the U.S. currently does. The U.S. contribution is nearly three times the amount of the second largest contributor to the UN peace-keeping budget, China.
President Trump spoke the hard truth about how the world really works. Sovereign nations are the locus of real power and legitimate governing authority in a world of diverse peoples and cultures.
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