FULL TEXT: Donald Trump's Address at the 2018 UN General Assembly

Trump slams Iran, insists Israeli-Palestinian peace has advanced, attacks ICC and says U.S. won't return to Human Rights Council

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President Donald Trump reacts to laughter from diplomats during his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday Sept. 25, 2018
President Donald Trump reacts to laughter from diplomats during his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday Sept. 25, 2018Credit: Bebeto Matthews,AP

U.S. President Donald Trump sharply attacked Iran during his remarks at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, the first day of the high-profile international gathering in New York. Below is the full text of his address:

One year ago I stood before you for the first time in this grand hall, I addressed the threats facing our world, and presented some options to reach a better future.

Today I want to share the extraordinary progress we made. In two years my administration has achieved more than any administration had achieved before in history.

The American economy is booming like never before, the stock market is thriving, unemployment is at a historic low. We operated the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history. We strengthened our border security, our military will soon be more powerful than it has ever been before.

The United States is stronger, safer and richer than when I assumed office two years ago. We are standing up for America and the American people and for the world.

FULL SPEECH: Trump addresses the 73rd United Nations General Assembly

This is great news for our citizens and for peace loving people everywhere. When nations respect each other, they can work together for prosperity and peace. Each of us here is an emissary of the own culture, history, values that make our homeland like nowhere else on earth.

America chooses independence and cooperation over global government, each must pursue its own customs. The U.S. won’t tell you how to live, work, or worship. We ask you to honor our sovereignty in return. My highest honor is to represent the U.S. abroad. I forged strong alliances with the leaders of many nations.

We have engaged with North Korea to replace the spectre of conflict with a bold new push for peace. In June in Singapore I met with the leader of North Korea and had a highly productive conversation. We agreed that denuclearization was in both countries’ interests. A number of encouraging measures were taken since. Missiles and rockets are no longer flying in every direction. Some military facilities were dismantled. Hostages were released. I would like to thank Kim for his courage and for the steps he has taken though much work is yet to be done. Sanctions will stay in place till deneclearization occurs. This moment is far greater than people would understand. I thank the Presidents of South Korea, Japan and China for their support.

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In the Middle East historic change has happened thanks to our approach. Gulf counties are enforcing new sanctions to identify and track terrorist networks and extremists in their own region.

The UAI and Saudi Arabia and Qatar have pledged billions of dollars for Syria and Yemen, and are attempting multiple avenues to end the horrific civil war in Yemen. It is up to the nations to decide what kind of future they want. The U.S. is working with the Gulf cooperation council, with Jordan and Egypt to increase prosperity. 

Thanks to the U.S. military and its partnership with many of your nations, ISIS was driven out from territories in Syria and Iraq. We will continue to work to deny them funding and means of infiltrating. The ongoing tragedy in Syria is heartbreaking. Deescalation is needed as well as a political solution that honors the Syrian people. The UN peace process must be reinvigorated. If chemical weapons are deployed, there must be a response.

People in Jordan and around Syria must be praised for hosting refugees from this brutal civil war. Being as close to home as possible the refugees can be part of the rebuilding process. Every solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria must include a strategy to address the brutal regime.

Another issue is the corrupt dictatorship of Iran. They cause chaos, death and destruction, they do not respect neighbors’ borders and the sovereign rights of nations. They plunder nations’ resources to enrich themselves and spread bad across the region. Their leaders have embezzled millions of dollars from the Iranian treasures, sent proxies to wage wars, not good! Their regional agenda is aggression and expansion. That’s why many supported me in withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal and in reimposing nuclear sanctions. The deal was a win for Iran leaders, their military budget grew 40 percent since deal was reached, they increased internal repression, financed terrorism, in Syria and Yemen. U.S. launched a campaign of economic pressure on Iran to deny the regime funds it needs to advance its bloody agenda.

We began reimposing the sanctions lifted after the deal, on November 6 there will be more sanctions, and more will follow. We want countries that import Iran crude oil to stop.

Trump forced to pause amid laughter at the 2018 UN General Assembly address

We cannot allow a regime that chants death to America and threatens Israel of annihilation to deliver a nuclear warhead. Just can’t do it. We ask to isolate the regime as long as the aggression continues. We need to support people in reclaiming their relgious destiny.

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I took other significant steps in the recognition of every state’s right to establish its own capital. I moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem which advances hopes of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. That aim is advanced not harmed by acknowledging facts. It is principled realism, we are not hostages to dogmas, experts who were proven wrong over the years time and time again. Not only in matters to do with peace but also to do with prosperity.

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We believe that trade must be fair and reciprocal. U.S. will not be taken advantage of any longer. For decades the U.S. opened its economy with few conditions. We allowed goods to fly in freely yet other markets were not open in return. Countries dumped their products, subsidized their goods, manipulated currencies.

As a result our trade deficit ballooned. For this reason we are systematically renegotiating trade deals. Last month a U.S. Mexico trade agreement was announced.

Yesterday I stood with President of South Korea. A brand new US Korea trade deal was announced. Many nations will agree that the world trading system in dire need of change. Countries in the WTO violate every single principle on which organization is based, the U.S. instead as well as others play by rules, but some rig the system in their favor. They do product dumping, forced technology transfer, theft of intellectual property. The U.S. lost a quarter of steel jobs after China joined the WTO. We had 14 trillion dollars in trade deficit. But those days are over. We will no longer tolerate such abuse. Our workers are not to be victimized, our wealth not to be plundered, America will never apologize for protecting its citizens.

There will be new tariffs for Chinese groups, as our trade imbalance is not acceptable. The way they deal cannot be tolerated. America will always act in its national interest. I warned that the UN human rights council became a great embarrassment to this institution, shielding human rights abusers and slashing America and its many friends. Nikki Haley laid out an agenda for reform but despite warnings no action at all was taken. So the U.S. took the only possible course, withdrew from the human rights council, and we will not return till reform is enacted. And will not give recognition to the International Criminal Court. The ICC has no legitimacy and no authority. It claims universal jurisdiction while violating due process, violating justice, we will never surrender to this unaccountable global bureaucracy. We reject globalism and embrace patriotism, around the world responsible nations must resist the threats to sovereignty. In America we believe strongly in energy security for ourselves and our allies.

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We are the largest energy producer on the face of earth. Clean coal oil, natural gas. Opec and Opec nations as usual are ripping off rest of world, and I don’t like it, nobody should like it, we defend many of these nations for nothing, and they give us high oil prices. NOT GOOD. We want them to start lowering prices, they must contribute to their own military protection from now on. These are horrible prices. Relying on a single supplier leaves nations vulnerable to distortion. Poland is building the Baltic pipeline so nations are not dependent on russia anymore for energy needs.

Germany will be dependent to Russia if it does not change course. We need indipendence from encroachment and we welcome cooperation with countries that wish to do the same. U.S. is also working with Latin America to confront threats of uncontrolled migration, tolerance for human smuggling and trafficking is not humane, it’s a horrible thing going on at levels unseen before.

Illegal immigration finances criminal networks, and the flow of deadly drugs. It produces a vicious circle of crime and poverty. Only by upholding national borders, can we break the cycle, we recognize the right of every nation to have own immigration policy according to its national interest. This must be respected. US will no participate in the new Global compact of migration, it is a global body unaccountable to our own people. People should build more hopeful future in the own country. Make their countries great again.

We are witnessing a human tragedy in Venezuela. Two million people fled anguish inflicted by Madhuro and his Cuban sponsors. Venezuela used to be one of richest countries, now people are driven into abject poverty. Virtually everywhere socialism and communism has produced decay, socialism’s thirst of power leads to expansion and oppression. All nations of the world must resist socialism. In that spirit we ask nations to join us in restoring democracy in Venezuela. We are announcing new sanctions against the repressive regime. We are grateful for all work UN does to help people build better lives for themselves and families.

The U.N. is the world’s largest giver of foreign aid. But few aid is given to us, that’s why we are looking into our assistance. We will examine what is working and not working and whether countries that receive our dollars and protection have our interest at heart. Only to those who are our friends we will continue.  We expect countries to pay a fair share for their own defense. The UN must become more effective and accountable. The UN has unlimited potential. As part of reform efforts we said we won’t pay more than 25 percent of peacekeeping budget, sharing in this large burden.

Only when each of us contributes our share can we realize the UN highest aspirations. We must pursue hope without despair, security without apology. Looking around this hall we think of the many before who came here, and thoughts turn to the same question, the question of what kind of world we will leave to our children and what kind of nations they will inherit. Answers are as diverse as people who have stood at this podium.

Great progress was made by India lifting people from poverty, from Saudi Arabia with its reforms, Israel is celebrating 70 years as a thriving democracy in the holy land. Many countries pursue own unique visions building own future and pursuing wonderful dreams. The whole world is richer, humanity is better because of this beautiful constellation of nations, each unique shining brightly in its part of the world. As Americans we know what kind of future we want, what nation America wants to be.

We believe in the majesty of freedom and dignity of individual, self government and rule of law, culture built on strong families, fierce independence. We celebrate our heroes, love our country. Inside this great chamber each patriot feels the same powerful love for his own nation, the same loyalty to your homeland. Passion has inspired reform and revolution, sacrifice, scientific breakthrough and magnificent works of art. We must not erase it, but embrace it, draw on its wisdom, find a way to make our nations greater, the regions safer, the world better. To unleash potential of our people, sovereignty and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom succeeds. We must protect sovreignty and independence above all. When we do we will find new avenues for cooperation unfolding before us, new ways of peace making, new purpose, new spirit flourishing more around us. Making this a more beautiful world. Let us choose the future of patriotism, let us come here to stand for our people and for their nations, forever strong, sovereign, just, thankful for the grace and the glory of God, God bless the nations of the globe. 

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