United Nations General Assembly Begins Week One and What You Need to Know

The United Nations General Assembly, better known as the USGA, met on Tuesday and will be conducting meetings for the next two weeks in New York City. The USGA holds some of the worlds biggest leaders from a variety of countries around the world and is a platform to discuss very important issues.

This year, the theme for the meeting revolves around “making the UN relevant to all people.” Leaders will be discussing extremely important and semi-controversial topics, including weapons of mass destruction, the refugee crisis, climate change, and gender equality to name a few.

Week one will start without U.S. President Donald Trump, who will instead be joining the council next week. Other notable absences include Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping. Venezuela's president Nicolas Maduro out too is likely to miss the meeting as well.

Following notable policy change in the U.S since last years summit, the world is waiting to react to President Trump at this year's assembly. Since last year, the U.S. has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accord, the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, the Iran nuclear agreement, and the U.N. Educational and Cultural agency (UNESCO), and refused to sign the Global Compact on Migration. It is likely that President Trump will speak on behalf of relations with North Korea, Iran, as well as global drug policies.

Additionally, the UN also has Myanmar on the mind. UN investigators recently published a report with details on the Rohingya crisis, including details about the investigation and prosecution of Myanmar’s top military officials. The investigation accused officials of genocide and war crimes. The U.N. published an exhaustive account of atrocities allegedly committed against the country’s Rohingya Muslims and other minorities. In short, Myanmar troops are being charged with systematically raping women and trapping people in burning homes. The chair of the mission said he's never seen crimes "as horrendous and on such a scale." A rep for Myanmar called the report biased.

It is likely that we will be hearing about the UNGA for the next few weeks. It's considered the biggest stage for world leaders to address some of today's biggest problems, and the outcome of the summit is seemingly unpredictable at the moment.