POTUS at the UN

By Gorman Gorman

Sep 22, 2009 9:57am

Today is President Obama's first day at the 64th United Nations General Assembly, and it will be one filled with meetings on global controversies.

From climate change to Mideast politics to China, the president has to be well prepared to tackle a wide range of issues.  The president attends U.N. meetings on climate change, Mideast politics, China.

"The expectations of the president domestically as well as internationally are almost off the charts," said Thomas Weiss, political science professor at the City University of New York and author of "What's Wrong With the United Nations and How to Fix It."

"He will be received with some skepticism, but also with much warmth."

Amid a controversy over sending more troops to Afghanistan, the president on Wednesday will host a special event for world leaders contributing the most troops and police to the UN effort in that country, including Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Italy, Pakistan, Rwanda and Uruguay.

The president has yet to make up his mind about the strategy for Afghanistan. Gen. Stanley McChrystal is expected to request additional troops for the war-torn country, but administration officials have said Obama wants to fully assess the situation and strategy before committing additional forces.

"The country is weary of the war,'' Obama said on "The Late Show with David Letterman" Monday. "What I'm trying to do at this point is to make sure that … all these elements, that we have got a coherent strategy that can work."

"I've got to make sure that the policy in place was worthy of their sacrifice. That's something that we're going to worth through systematically."

Other challenges await the president as he meets today with Chinese President Hu Jintao and attempts diplomacy with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

As for China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, Obama is likely to convey an optimistic outlook of the economy, and discuss climate change, a contentious issue for China.

Read more HERE. 

- jpt

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