Obama faces busy week at United Nations

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Many of the world’s problems — and President Obama’s plans to deal with them — come together next week in one place: The United Nations.

In addition to his annual address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, Obama will also attend special U.N. meetings on challenges that are defining his presidency, Ebola, climate change, and the battle against the Islamic State.

The president and aides are also likely to speak with global counterparts about other pressing challenges, including Russian adventurism in Ukraine and violence between Israelis and the Palestinians.

It will be “another intense foreign policy and national security week,” said Obama national security adviser Susan Rice.


Obama also speaks at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, hosted by White House predecessor Bill Clinton. Attending that forum: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a potential presidential candidate herself in 2016.

“I know the president is looking forward to seeing the former president and secretary of state,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

United Nations week begins for Obama on Tuesday, when he flies to New York for a session on climate change. The president will discuss his own “climate action plan,” Rice said, and urge other countries to follow through.

The climate meeting, however, will not include China and India, two large and developing nations with major carbon emission issues.

The Clinton Global Initiative comes later in the day on Tuesday. Obama’s focus will be on public-private partnerships designed to strengthen civil society worldwide.

The president’s annual address to the U.N. General Assembly is Wednesday morning, and Obama is expected to address the full array of global challenges.

Later that day, Obama chairs a special session of the U.N. Security Council to discuss efforts to roll back the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria.

Obama unveiled a U.S. counter-terrorism plan earlier this month. In New York, he and aides will likely talk to other countries about contributing to the fight against the militants who have threatened the United States and allies.

The last day, Thursday, brings a special U.N. meeting on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Obama is expected to discuss the new U.S. plan to help contain the deadly virus, an effort to be led by the American military.

While in New York, Obama will also hold bi-lateral meetings with other national leaders attending U.N. sessions.

One leader not expected to be on that list: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose nation is in the midst of talks about its nuclear program. While Obama and Rouhani spoke by phone last year, they are not expected to follow up at the U.N.

The bi-lateral schedule “is still under development,” Earnest said.

MCT

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