UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- U.S. President Donald Trump dominated this year's gathering of global leaders that ended Monday, but his rejection of "the ideology of globalism" left America almost singlehandedly holding a nationalist banner against urgent calls from an overwhelming number countries for the world to work together.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres opened the week-long meeting last Tuesday declaring that global cooperation is the world's best hope and warning that "multilateralism is under fire precisely when we need it most." And General Assembly President Maria Espinosa Garces wrapped up the meeting, during which all 193 U.N. member nations spoke, saying that one of its major achievements was strong global backing for the U.N. and multilateralism.
The high turnout of leaders -- 121 presidents, prime ministers and monarchs -- "is because the world cares about the United Nations and the world cares about multilateralism, and the need to strengthen the multilateral agenda," Espinosa Garces said in a news conference. And the General Assembly is the body "for international coexistence."
But Trump's speech, not long after Guterres', poured scorn on multilateralism and touted his "America First" policy, saying his administration has achieved more "than almost any administration in the history of our country," which sparked chuckles and outright laughter from some leaders.
"We will never surrender America's sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy," the U.S. president said. "America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism."
One of the very few countries to speak out for nationalism was Hungary, which has erected razor wire fences to keep people out. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called migration the greatest challenge in history, saying "migratory waves" are creating huge security risks, destabilizing countries, and bringing terrorism to a region where it did not exist before.