All eyes and ears at UN summit in New York this week

All eyes and ears at UN summit in New York this week

Leaders from more than 190 countries will be in New York this week to attend the 74th U.N. General Assembly which will stage important global summits on climate change, universal health care, nuclear nonproliferation, and sustainable development chaired by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The secretary-general has long been in an effort to convince world leaders to devote the U.N. week to global matters as the only avenue where timely, effective and mutual responses can be given in addressing this problem that affects the entire humanity.

The summit on climate change is one of them. U.S. President Donald Trump will sure not be present at that summit as the leader who has several times expressed his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate deal. The summit is likely to be dominated by the presence of European leaders.

Apart from the summits, all eyes will be on the speeches of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly. Each leader will bring his or her nation’s priority to the podium, but there will surely be some issues on which many of them will express their positions and opinions.

Ongoing tension in the Gulf will be among them. Iran will be under fire by a large group of countries led by the U.S., Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries and Israel which accuse Tehran of last week’s attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The civil war in Syria and global refugee problem, the Palestine issue, the tension between Pakistan and India, etc. will be discussed by leaders at the General Assembly.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will be among leaders who will take the floor on Sept. 24. In a statement early September, he implied that this year’s speech of his will be quite important and will touch key international and regional matters as well as the world’s unjust order.

The fight against all sorts of terrorism will sure be an issue Erdoğan will raise with criticisms against the Western nations because of their double-standards. At a press conference before his departure to New York, Erdoğan has reiterated his anger towards the U.S. for its continued support to the YPG in northeastern Syria while underlining that the Turkish army is prepared for a unilateral action should the U.S. stall on implementing a deal for the safe zone. It would not be a surprise for Erdoğan to repeat his frustration in regards to the U.S. bond with a group Turkey has designated as terrorist.

The refugee issue will occupy a good part of Erdoğan’s address like in the previous year. As the leader of a country that hosts the most refugees in the world, Erdoğan will issue a fresh call for the world leaders, particularly the European ones, for more political and financial support to his government.

To this end, he will emphasize the importance of the safe zone to be set up with the U.S. in the northeastern Syria where two to three million Syrians can be settled. Apart from his message from the General Assembly, Erdoğan will discuss this issue in his bilateral meetings with Trump and the French and German leaders, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel.

Out of these three encounters, his talks with Trump will surely have more importance as the two leaders will have to discuss all the aspects of troubled Turkish-American ties. Before Trump, Erdoğan was scheduled to meet Senator Lindsey Graham, one of few U.S. congressmen having sympathy for Turkey.

Again, before the meeting, Turkish and American businesspeople were to hold a special meeting on the ways to carve out a concrete road map for enhanced trade and economic relationship in light of U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ five-day trip to Turkey in mid-September.

It will be seen this week to what extent the jointly targeted $100 billion trade volume may override existing multiple political problems between the two nations.