Trump took his seat at the dais, next to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton sat to his left.
The meeting was gaveled to order at 8:30 am.
Haley thanked the member countries for signing a compact to combat drug trafficking.
“Drugs are not only an American problem; they are a global problem,” Haley said.
She said the US expected opioid-fueled drug trafficking to continue to rise. So the US is working with countries to stem the drug trade.
Haley talked about the Global Call to Action, before introducing Trump, with an enthusiastic round of clapping that was politely picked up by others in the room.
Trump said, “the scourge of drug addiction claims too many lives around the world. Today we commit to fight the drug problem together.”
He thanked Guterres for doing a “wonderful job.” “I’ve always said the United Nations has tremendous potential. Slowly but surely, it is being met.”
He said it was important to fight drug trade, “the lifeblood of vicious trans-national gangs.”
Trump listed goals: Reduce drug demand, increase treatment, stop trafficking.
“If we take these steps together, we can save the lives of countless people in every corner of the world,” Trump said.
“In the United States, we are taking aggressive action, securing our border supporting law enforcement, devoting record funding to the opioid crisis and promoting treatment and recovery,” Trump said.
Guterres then thanked Trump for his role. He talked about his sister, a drug counselor in Lisbon.
“This is more than a policy issue for me. It is personal,” he said.
He discussed Portugal’s advances in combatting drug addiction. It now has one of the lowest drug death rates in Europe.
“Thank you for your leadership in bringing this life and death issue front and center,” he concluded.
Meeting adjourned at 8:45.
Motorcade is rolling at 8:55.
Pool understands Trump spoke briefly to UN press on entering the building. Trying to get those remarks.