The United Nations General Assembly meets in September of each year, when heads of state and other notables of member nations speak before the assembled representatives. On September 19, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump spoke. The mainstream media focused on his mention of destroying Rocket Man and on his denouncing today’s national pariahs. However, those who listened to or read his entire presentation would have noticed more important messages, 1) a reminder that in the U.S., the people govern; and 2) a shift from the global integration that Barack Obama emphasized in 2016 before the Assembly to cooperation among sovereign nations. Here are some quotes from Trump’s speech,
“In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people, where it belongs.”
“As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first.”
“All responsible leaders have an obligation to serve their own citizens, and the nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition.”
“But making a better life for our people also requires us to work together in close harmony and unity to create a more safe and peaceful future for all people.”
“For the diverse nations of the world, this is our hope. We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife. We are guided by outcomes, not ideology.”
The part about in the U.S. the people govern is clearly spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. The part about the sovereignty of nations in the context of the United Nations has become somewhat obscure over the years since establishment of the U.N. in 1945.
The U.N. Charter says the purpose of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security; develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination; achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character; be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.
The U.N.’s purpose is clear, but somewhat open ended. However, Chapter I, Article 2, No. 7, indicates that nations are to maintain their sovereignty, except when they commit physical aggression upon another nation, in which case the U.N. can decide to intervene.
“Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state…”
Now, let’s see what obscured the original purported U.N. intent that nations were to remain sovereign. As a reminder, the U.N. Charter is considered a treaty, and the United States Constitution states that treaties to which the U.S. Senate concurs have the force of U.S. law.
In 2000, U.N. delegates adopted the Millennium Declaration, which significantly expanded the role of the U.N. For example, the 8 Millennium Goals committed participants to the implementation in their own countries by 2015 of policies to achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop global partnerships.
The 8 Millennium Goals were superseded by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These new goals added new areas to the original 8, such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, and peace and justice. They also made the old goals more ambitious, such as changing “Achieve universal primary education” to simply “Quality Education.”
We invite you to read legislation, especially land use legislation, passed since around 2006 by your state legislators, you might see an incredible resemblance to the language contained in the Millennium and the Sustainable Development Goals.
What Donald Trump did during his address before the U.N. General Assembly on September 19, 2017, was to cast a NO vote, not to peace, not to prosperity, but to U.N. mandates being implemented as national policy. Interestingly, the mainstream media did not address this issue.