Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

Sightline with Tim Marshall: How Trump threatens havoc at UN General Assembly

This year's virtual meeting will see unilateralist and multilateralist ideologies collide

Not even presidents are exempt from coronavirus quarantine regulations so this year's UN General Assembly is to be held virtually.

The absence of motorcades, networking and impassioned crowds may be different but the event will still be a melting pot of intrigue, plots and subplots.

President Erdogan wants the world to be on Turkey's side in its Greece dispute while the brand new Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga needs to emerge from the shadow of his predecessor Shinze Abe.

It is the unpredictable and controversial figure of US President Donald Trump who looms largest over the assembly though. Mr Trump is a UN sceptic and unilateralist - and recent events have served up plenty of grist for his America-first mill.

Most UN members have recanted on the organisation's credo and taken a unilateral approach to Covid-19. They have also failed to live up to agreed climate and sustainability goals.

Will Mr Trump's scripted speech take the form of a polemic designed both to further destabilise the old world order and to attract the US electorate with the presidential election just around the corner? Tim Marshall investigates in this week’s episode of Sightline.

Updated: September 19, 2020 08:33 PM

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