Asia Minute: Asian Concerns Will Be Raised at U.N. General Assembly

Sep 19, 2017

Credit John Gillespie / Flickr

As you’ve heard on NPR, President Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly today. The rest of the week will include speeches from various other world leaders, and many meetings. The event includes a large contingent from Asia, but with some notable absences this year. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Like football season and Halloween, the United Nations General Assembly comes every autumn.

And like other seasonal rituals, there’s a pattern.

There’s the overall meeting, this year’s is from September 12th to the 29th.

But the “general debate,” starting today, is what usually grabs the headlines. That’s when leaders can take about 20 minutes to address the U.N.

The event also includes a week of informal side meetings and bilateral discussions.

North Korea will be a topic for many of those meetings, climate change will be a theme for others along with a series of other concerns that spill beyond the borders of individual countries.

South Korean President Moon Jae In is attending his first general assembly—speaking on Thursday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make his fifth address to a General Assembly meeting on Wednesday.

There will be no remarks this year from Russian President Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping—both are skipping the event.

A Kremlin spokesman says Putin’s schedule is “too tight.” Adding that he doesn’t go every year anyway “so there’s nothing extraordinary about that.”

It’s a similar story with the Chinese president, who has less than a month to prepare for his country’s most important domestic political meeting, the Communist Party Congress, held once every five years.