New York this time of the year is akin to the Tower of Babel; restaurants are packed to the roof with a multitude of languages and spices it the air. Business is good.
As had been predicted by some earlier, Trump’s speech left behind a trail comments, threats against Iran, China’s trade imbalance... What many did not expect is reeling in OPEC countries ordering them to reduce oil prices or else…
In short, President Trump brings some colour to an otherwise drab meeting that is usually all talk and little action.
One of Trump’s predecessors, John F. Kennedy sounded a grave warning in September 1961 during the General Assembly, shortly after the death of the UN General Assembly, Dag Hammarskjold.
“A noble servant of peace is gone but the quest for peace lies before us. The problem is not the death of one man, the problem is the life of this organization; it will either grow to meet the challenges of our age, or it will be gone with the wind, without influence, without force, without respect. Were we to let it die, to enfeeble its vigor, to cripple its powers, we would condemn our future”.
Those words spoken 57 years ago still ring true to this day. The United Nations has failed to shake off the yoke of bureaucracy, has lost influence, respect and is powerless.
President might be brash sometimes but he has a point when he threatens to exceed 25% contributions towards peacekeeping, or even picking the largest tab to run the UN.
Whoever pays the piper calls the tune. In order to have a level playing field, member countries will have to pull their weight, otherwise any meaningful voice will be drowned by those with big pockets, and say.