Ambassador Nikki Haley compared next week’s United Nations high-level General Assembly session to “speed dating” during a press conference on Thursday.
“We are now getting ready to host the 73rd General Assembly high-level week,” Haley told a scrum of reporters. “All of you know it’s speed dating. But what we will try to do is have all hands on deck. There’s a lot of issues to cover.”
“You’ll see many from the administration here,” continued the ambassador. “Some will be in the same meetings, some will be in separate meetings. But the focus will very much be on the United States, what our role is in the world, the relationships that we want to continue to build, and what we can do about that.”
The UN General Assembly main session will bring together representatives from 193 countries, with presidents, heads of state and foreign advisors all converging on Midtown to discuss world order. This year, the theme established by UNGA President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés is “Making the United Nations relevant to all people: global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies.”
Haley noted in her address that President Trump will “kick off” the summit on Monday with a U.S.-sponsored event, “Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem,” intended to explore “reducing elicit drugs, expanding treatment, [and] expanding international cooperation.” The Ambassador also highlighted Trump’s Tuesday keynote on his “foreign policy successes.”
“What I can tell you is that this is the week we all wait for, where we can all put U.S. interests in the spotlight, make it a really big prominent thing with all the administration coming in,” said Haley. “They are going to come and do their thing and we’re all going try to see if we can get some good peace and security and agreements passed.”
The international gathering comes amid growing complications between the U.S. and Iran over Syria, with Trump-affiliated events popping up throughout Manhattan during high-level week. The president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani will give a speech on Saturday in Times Square ahead of the session alongside Maryam Rajavi, the co-leader of Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK)—an Iranian cult jockeying for regime change. On Tuesday, National Security Advisor John Bolton will speak at the 2018 Iran Summit on the White House’s hardline.
“It’s not going to be a pleasant conversation,” Ilan Berman, senior vice president of the conservative American Foreign Policy Council, told Politico. “It is the most public platform that Trump has to date to say our Iran strategy is not negotiable and that there will be consequences for not complying…But opposing parties are very likely to use the chance to push back and try to build consensus of their own to preserve the status quo.”
“Iran continues to be a problem,” said Haley on Thursday. “Every dangerous spot in the world, Iran seems to have their finger on it.”