UN General Assembly 2018: All the latest updates

World leaders have descended on New York to take part in the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. 

The Iran nuclear deal, a response to the Rohingya crisis, and the future of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) are some of the issues expected to take centre stage at this year’s gathering.

On Tuesday, the first batch of leaders will address the assembly – US President Donald Trump, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan among them.

Follow live updates here.

Trump addresses UN: Iran should be isolated 

  • US President Donald Trump has asked all nations to isolate Iran’s leadership, and vowed that more sanctions will follow after the resumption of oil sanctions on November 5.  

  • Trump said that Iranian leaders are “sowing chaos, death and destruction” in the Middle East.  

  • “Iran’s leaders plunder the nations resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond,” he said. 

Trump: US has never been ‘stronger, safer, richer’ 

  • US President Donald Trump said that in less than two years since his election, his country has never been “stronger, safer and richer”.  

  • Speaking Tuesday at the UN General Assembly in New York, Trump also highlighted his achievement with North Korea, but added that sanctions will continue until denuclearisation is carried out.

UN’s Guterres: We are not doing enough on global warming

During his speech, the UN chief also warned against the rise of populism around the world [Reuters]
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the world has reached “a pivotal moment” in global warming and risks runaway climate change if leaders don’t act in the next two years.

  • Speaking Tuesday at the UN General Assembly in New York, Guterres told world leaders that they are not doing enough to combat what he calls “a direct existential threat” that is moving faster than people are working to combat it.

  • He’s calling for making sure the international Paris climate change agreement is implemented. US. President Donald Trump has announced he’s withdrawing his country from the pact.
    Guterres is planning a climate summit next year.

UN chief: World suffering from ‘trust deficit disorder’

  • The world is suffering from “trust deficit disorder,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in remarks ahead of world leaders’ speeches at the UN headquarters in New York.  

  • People are losing faith in political establishments, power relations are unclear and “democratic principles are under siege,” Guterres said.

  • “The world is more connected, yet societies are becoming more fragmented. Challenges are growing outward, while many people are turning inward,” the UN chief added.

Trump on Twitter: no meeting with Rouhani

  • US President Donald Trump has tweeted to say he will not be meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, US.  

  • Despite requests, I have no plans to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man!,” Trump said. 

  • Rouhani already told NBC News on Monday there would not be a meeting. 

  • “Naturally, if someone is keen on having a meeting and holding dialogue and creating progress in relationships, that person would not use the tool of sanctions and threats [and bring] to bear all of its power against another government and nation,” the Iranian leader said.

  • Here are some of the key issues expected to feature heavily at this year’s General Assembly. 

  • The Rohingya: Countries are divided on an appropriate response to the Rohingya crisis, with US Ambassador Nikki Haley calling for strong and immediate action against Myanmar’s leadership and Chinese ambassador Wu Haitao urging a softer approach based on “constructive assistance”.

  • Syria: As the battle for Idlib looms, UN officials have called on all parties to ensure that civilian casualties are avoided, but there are no signs of these warnings being heeded.

  • Iran nuclear deal: Relations between the US and Iran are at a low since Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in May. Meanwhile, Europe is trying to keep the agreement afloat. 

  • Read our full analysis on what to expect at the 2018 general assembly here.

New Zealand’s ‘First baby’

  • New Zealand‘s Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern made history when she brought her three-month-old daughter into the assembly hall on Monday evening. 

  • Ardern called bringing her baby into the meeting a “practical decision”.

  • “Neve is actually nearby me most of the time in New Zealand, she’s just not always caught. But here, when she’s awake, we try and keep her with me. So that was the occasion,” the New Zealand Herald quoted her as saying.

  • The head of state’s partner, Clarke Gayford, earlier tweeted a picture of the ID badge of Ms Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford – New Zealand’s “first baby”. 

What is the General Assembly? 

  • The General Assembly is the main deliberative and policymaking organ of the UN. It is the only UN body with equal representation, meaning each country has one vote. 

  • The General Assembly convenes once a year for three months starting in mid-September and, if necessary, again from January.

  • The event that draws much of the media’s attention is the general debate, which kicks off on Tuesday.

  • During the general debate, which is scheduled to last for nine days, world leaders take turns delivering speeches about the issues that matter to their governments. 

  • Representatives from each of the 193 UN member states get 15 minutes in principle to speak. Here’s a schedule. 

  • Some of the most memorable moments in the history of the general debate are Benjamin Netanyahu’s “red line” speech, former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi’s 96-minute speech during which he ripped a copy of the UN charter, and Trump calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “rocket man“. 

Meet Maria Fernanda Espinosa: UN General Assembly president

  • Maria Fernanda Espinosa is the first woman ever from Latin America and the Caribbean to preside over the General Assembly.

  • Before the general debate, Al Jazeera spoke to the Ecuadorian about her work and her message to world leaders about the week ahead. 

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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