The tension has gone both ways. Last month, the United Nations human rights chief chastised Mr. Trump for his repeated attacks on the news media, saying that they could incite violence and set a bad example for other countries.
At a news conference at the French mission on Monday, Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, described the context in which Mr. Trump arrived. “There’s a worrying degradation of the international environment,” he said. “Never since the end of the Cold War have dissensions, tensions, the level of conflict been so high in a world that is more interdependent than ever.”
“And what is worse is despite globalization, cooperation has become less easy with increasing questioning of the roles of the multilateral game and with a temptation of withdrawal out of fear or selfishness,” Mr. Le Drian added.
No mention was made during Mr. Trump’s opening appearance on Monday of the global crises that the United Nations has rung alarm bells about: attacks on the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, climate change, the nuclear threat in North Korea, and a record 65 million people displaced from their homes.
Mr. Trump’s main message to the visiting heads of state and government will come on Tuesday when he addresses the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly. Aides have said he will stress “sovereignty and accountability,” a contrast to his predecessors who used the annual occasion to rally joint action on issues like terrorism, weapons proliferation and climate change.
Mr. Trump will use the next four days to meet individually with numerous counterparts, starting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Emmanuel Macron of France. He will also host a dinner on Monday night with Latin American leaders that could focus on Venezuela’s increasingly harsh domestic crackdown and economic crisis.
The meeting with Mr. Netanyahu was expected to focus on Iran, a theocratic state that both men consider a threat to regional peace and stability. Mr. Netanyahu planned to use the session to press Mr. Trump to revise or scrap the nuclear agreement that the United States under President Barack Obama and five other major powers reached with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting…