As leaders of countries across the world met at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss issues of security, environment and trade – the man who is referred to as the leader of the free world – due to his position as the President of the United States might have just sounded the death knell for a multi-lateral world order.
During his speech at the UNGA, Trump reiterated his stand of “America first.” Evident in his policies since taking office, Trump has brought in tariffs against friends and foes alike in order to benefit Americans.
But on Tuesday, Trump made an even more stronger pronouncement that has not been made by any U.S. leader since World War II. Trump said, “America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control and domination."
He underscored his point with, "We will never surrender America's sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy. America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism. And we embrace the doctrine of patriotism."
Trump with this statement was referring to the International Criminal Court which is considering a case brought upon by Iran for the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement.
But Trump with his speech has clearly spelt out what he has been practicing since taking office. He has pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of the biggest trade agreements in the world. He pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement as it was bringing in binding commitments for greenhouse gas emissions. He pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal which has been condemned by U.S. allies.
Trump also made it clear he is looking at the world through a simple binary of – his friends and those he sees as undeserving enemies: "We are taking a hard look at U.S. foreign assistance ... whether the countries who receive our dollars and protection also have our interests at heart. Moving forward, we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and, frankly, are our friends."
Until today, the U.S. at least paid lip service to working for democracy and fighting for human rights across the world – not always true but atleast it claimed to. Now Trump has openly said that his foreign policy is not and will not be value-based but work on the simple motivation of nationalism. Like Michael Moore says in his new film Farenheit 11/9, Donald Trump has always committed his outrageous acts in the open and has never been called up on it. He is now announcing his intention to the world, and it is upon countries like France and Germany to keep him in check.
To what extent Trump’s unilateralism policies bear fruit will take some time to be evident but until then Trump has announced his priorities and that is a world in which he does not and will not acknowledge the relevance of any other organisation until it benefits his vision of the world.
Trump sounded off this awful warning in the hall of the organisation that was created to combat such an attitude after the World War II which laid so many countries to waste.