America First as a Threat to Mulitlateralism
By Jan Lundius
STOCKHOLM / ROME, May 13 2019 (IPS)
On 25 April, Joseph Biden announced his candidacy for the US presidency, declaring that his decision was based on fears of Trump being re-elected:
- ”He will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are, and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.” 1
Joe Biden´s statement mirrors rising concerns that Trump´s agenda, characterized by isolationism, xenophobia and anti-multilaterism is threatening not only the US, but the entire world. Our biosphere, the absolute fundament of human existence, is on the verge of collapsing, while petty ”national interests” are sabotaging an international unity that might reverse a catastrophic development.
A blatant example of the Trump adminstration´s refusal to engage in crucial inititives to save the planet was when the US on the 10th of May refused to sign an amendment to the UN Basel Convention.2 The agreement that was signed by 187 countries intends to restrict an ongoing dumping of hard-to-recycle plastic waste to poorer countries.
Can the world afford to watch the Trump administration withdraw US participation from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Human Rights Council, as well as less known treaties such as the Universal Postal Union? US representatives have walked out of negotiations on the Transpacific Partnership Trade Agreement and the UN Global Compact for Migration, as well as renouncing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), i.e. the Iran Deal. Furthermore, the Trump administration has announced the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement with Russia and ended cooperation with UN rapporteurs on human rights violations within the US, while cutting down funding for UN Peacekeeping and UN agencies dealing with human rights, Palestinian refugees, population control, sustainable development and global warming.
Contempt for multilateralism and cynical exploitation of …read more