Gen­eral Assem­bly to have its hands full this week

World lead­ers will face crises in North Korea and Myanmar as U.N. con­venes.

The Citizens' Voice - - NATION & WORLD - BY EDITH M. LED­ERER

UNITED NA­TIONS — Fac­ing an es­ca­lat­ing nu­clear threat from North Korea and the mass flight of mi­nor­ity Mus­lims from Myanmar, world lead­ers will gather at the United Na­tions start­ing Mon­day to tackle these and other tough chal­lenges — from the spread of ter­ror­ism to a warm­ing planet.

The spotlight will be on U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and France’s new leader, Em­manuel Macron, who will both be mak­ing their first ap­pear­ance at the Gen­eral Assem­bly. They will be joined by more than 100 heads of state and gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing Zim­babwe’s Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe, one of Africa’s long­est-serv­ing lead­ers who is said to be bring­ing a 70-mem­ber en­tourage.

While Trump’s speeches and meet­ings will be closely fol­lowed, it will be North Korea, which Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res calls “the most dan­ger­ous cri­sis that we face to­day,” that will be most care­fully watched. No of­fi­cial event ad­dress­ing Py­ongyang’s re­lent­less cam­paign to de­velop nu­clear weapons ca­pa­ble of hit­ting the United States is on the U.N. agenda, but it is ex­pected to be the No. 1 is­sue for most lead­ers.

Not far be­hind will be the plight of Myanmar’s Ro­hingya Mus­lims, vic­tims of what Guter­res calls a cam­paign of eth­nic cleans­ing that has driven nearly 400,000 to flee to Bangladesh in the past three weeks. The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, in its first state­ment on Myanmar in nine years, con­demned the vi­o­lence and called for im­me­di­ate steps to end it. Bri­tish For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son is host­ing a closed meet­ing on the cri­sis Mon­day, and the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Is­lamic Co­op­er­a­tion’s con­tact group on the Rohingyas is sched­uled to meet Tues­day.

Guter­res said lead­ers would also be fo­cus­ing on a third ma­jor threat — cli­mate change. The num­ber of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters has nearly quadru­pled and he pointed to un­prece­dented weather events in re­cent weeks.

While Trump has an­nounced the United States will pull out of the 2015 Paris Cli­mate Agree­ment, Macron will be host­ing a meet­ing Tues­day to spur its im­ple­men­ta­tion.



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