On December 9, professors from the U.S. and Japan reviewed the relevance of the United Nations after four years of the Trump administration’s antagonism to the organization’s purpose and specific agencies. The Zoom audience was assembled by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver.
A recap of President Trump’s four UN speeches since September 2017 introduced the discussion. Trump’s rhetoric provided four years of relentless opposition to the UN’s purpose to promote peace, friendly relations, multilateral decision-making, human rights and relief.
In 2017, he debuted at the UN with an aggressive, hostile speech in which he threatened nuclear destruction of North Korea and labeled its leader “Rocket Man” in language that international media coverage compared to Khrushchev, Castro, Qaddafi and Chavez for its belligerent tone and substance. He used his subsequent three speeches to attack globalism, Iran, China, international borders, multilateralism and UN agencies, such as health (WHO), human rights and criminal justice.
Among the questions addressed by panel members Professor Tim Sisk of the Korbel School, Professor Akiko Fukushima of the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research, and Professor Floyd Ciruli of the Crossley Center was: Can the U.S.’s reentry into supporting the UN’s goals and affairs help rejuvenate multilateralism and international cooperation? A video of the session follows.