President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 25, in New York City. (John Moore/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump lashed out at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Sept. 25, saying America will never surrender its sovereignty to an “unelected” organization and will not support a body that has “no legitimacy,” writes Yoshita Singh.
“As my administration has demonstrated, America will always act in our national interest…The United States will provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority,” Trump said in his address to the UN General Assembly’s high-level General Debate in New York, Sept. 25.
Trump accused the ICC for claiming near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, saying it violates all principles of justice, fairness, and due process.
“We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy,” he said.
Referring to his maiden address to the UN General Assembly last year, Trump said he had warned that the UN Human Rights Council had become a grave embarrassment to this institution, shielding egregious human rights abusers while bashing America and its many friends.
He said the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley had laid out a clear agenda for reform, but despite reported and repeated warnings, no action at all was taken.
“So the United States took the only responsible course: We withdrew from the Human Rights Council, and we will not return until real reform is enacted, he said.
On energy security, he said the US has become the largest energy producer anywhere on the face of the Earth and stands ready to export its abundant, affordable supply of oil, clean coal and natural gas.
“OPEC and OPEC nations, are, as usual, ripping off the rest of the world, and I don’t like it. Nobody should like it. We defend many of these nations for nothing, and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices. Not good, he said.
Trump said he wants OPEC nations to stop raising prices and contribute substantially to military protection from now on. We are not going to put up with it — these horrible prices — much longer,” he said.
On Syria, Trump said thanks to the United States military and its partnership with many nations, the “bloodthirsty killers” known as ISIS have been driven out from the territory they once held in Iraq and Syria.
We will continue to work with friends and allies to deny radical Islamic terrorists any funding, territory or support, or any means of infiltrating our borders,” he said.
Describing the ongoing tragedy in Syria as “heartbreaking,” Trump urged the United Nations-led peace process to be reinvigorated but warned that the United States will respond if chemical weapons are deployed by the Assad regime.
On the issue of illegal immigration, he said it funds criminal networks, ruthless gangs and the flow of deadly drugs.
Illegal immigration exploits vulnerable populations, hurts hardworking citizens, and has produced a vicious cycle of crime, violence, and poverty. Only by upholding national borders, destroying criminal gangs, can we break this cycle and establish a real foundation for prosperity.
The U.S. recognizes the right of every nation in the world to set its own immigration policy in accordance with its national interests, he said, adding that other countries must also respect America’s right to do the same, which we are doing. That is one reason the United States will not participate in the new Global Compact on Migration. Migration should not be governed by an international body unaccountable to our own citizens. Ultimately, the only long-term solution to the migration crisis is to help people build more hopeful futures in their home countries. Make their countries great again, he said.
Describing the United States as the world’s largest giver of foreign aid in the world, Trump said few nations give anything to it. “That is why we are taking a hard look at US foreign assistance. That will be headed up by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We will examine what is working, what is not working, and whether the countries who receive our dollars and our protection also have our interests at heart,” he said.
Trump warned that moving forward, the U.S. is only going to give foreign aid to those who respect it and, “frankly, are our friends. And we expect other countries to pay their fair share for the cost of their defence.”
Trump, who has always been critical of the United Nations, said the U.S. is committed to making the world body “more effective and accountable.”
“I have said many times that the United Nations has unlimited potential. As part of our reform effort, I have told our negotiators that the United States will not pay more than 25 per cent of the UN peacekeeping budget. This will encourage other countries to step up, get involved, and also share in this very large burden, he said.
“Only when each of us does our part and contributes our share can we realise the UN’s highest aspirations. We must pursue peace without fear, hope without despair, and security without apology, he said.
Trump called on all nations to choose a future of patriotism, prosperity, and pride. Let us choose peace and freedom over domination and defeat. And let us come here to this place to stand for our people and their nations, forever strong, forever sovereign, forever just, he said.