The path to peace and a better world begins at home, United States President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, urging countries to look after their own interests on issues like trade, people smuggling and illegal immigration, and denouncing open border activists who cloak themselves in the rhetoric of social justice.
In his address to the UN General Assembly, which officially opened on Tuesday, Mr. Trump said that many of the 193 UN Member States are coping with the challenges of uncontrolled migration.
Each of you has the absolute right to protect your borders, and so, of course, does our country. Today, we must resolve to work together to end human smuggling and human trafficking and put these criminal networks out of business for good, he said.
While stressing that the US does not seek conflict with other nations, Mr. Trump affirmed that he will never cease to defend national interests.
The American President said his administration will partner with nations that seek peace and respect.
This includes working with countries in the Western Hemisphere to curb illegal immigration, which he said impacts both sending and receiving countries, as well as those pushed to escape their homelands.
Mr. Trump delivered a message to open-border activists who encourage illegal migration flows:
You are empowering criminal organizations that prey on innocent men, women and children. You put your own false sense of virtue before the lives (and) well-being (of) countless innocent people. When you undermine border security, you are undermining human rights and human dignity.
The annual high-level debate marking the start of the 74th UN General Assembly runs through Monday.
Brazil traditionally is the first country to speak, followed by the United States, host country to UN Headquarters in New York.
At the beginning of his speech, Mr. Trump stated that wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their own country first.
The future does not belong to globalists; the future belongs to patriots, he said.
The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbours, and honour the differences that make each country special and unique.
On wider issues, Mr. Trump said that while he would not accept a bad trade deal with China, he nevertheless hoped we can reach a deal beneficial for both countries.
Denouncing Iran's repressive regime as one of the greatest security threats facing peace-loving nations today, Mr. Trump said Tehran is fueling the tragic wars in both Syria and Yemen. He added that the Government is squandering the nation's wealth and future in a fanatical quest for nuclear weapons and means to deliver them.
We must never allow this to happen, he said.
Source: UN News Centre