On Sept. 24, the leaders of all 193 member states of the United Nations gathered in New York City for the 68th U.N. General Assembly.
The theme for this year’s conference foreshadows an entirely new and different global future: The Post 2015 Development Agenda, Setting the Stage.
For the slowly declining United States, the U.N. General Assembly’s theme could not have been more appropriate.
In the face of new global actors rapidly gaining on the United States’ superpower hegemony, President Barack Obama’s address emanated strength, confidence and aggression towards the listening nations—all to be expected from the president.
However, two pressing issues were placed at the top of the agenda for Obama’s speech: the Iranian nuclear program and the Syrian civil war.
While charging the Iranian government to meet their standards of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, the president also repeatedly articulated that “President Rouhani has just recently reiterated that the Islamic republic will never develop a nuclear weapon.”
Political Science Professor Tom Lobe said, “Although for a long time Iran considered us an enemy, it seems that President Rouhani is coming with chips on the table for negotiations.”
Indeed, no other previous Iranian president has had the support of both Ayatollah Khamenei and the religious hardliners as newly elected President Rouhani has currently.
“If [the U.S.] can come honestly and break barriers, then Rouhani can take advantage of his honeymoon period,” Lobe said. “However, many of us fear that the U.S. will not come honestly.”
Secondly, Obama aggressively addressed the Assad regime in Syria. Speaking against Assad’s chemical weapon usage, Obama claims to still hold military action as a possible response.
However, Lobe said, “If Obama wanted to use military force, he would have already. But we don’t know what results we want. While we do not like the Assad regime, we also do not like the rebel groups that are likely turning to Al-Qaeda.”
Moreover, the evidence shows American and Russian negotiation is in full motion toward the peaceful resolution of the Syrian civil war.
Also to be noted from this conference are the five Latin American countries openly rebuking the United States for the recent National Security Agency (NSA) scandal.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceled her delegation dinner in Washington to openly condemn NSA actions in secret spying on high-ranking Latin American officials.