Barack Obama is set to become the first-ever U.S. president to chair the United Nations' 15-member Security Council when it meets later this month.
The council, which next meets Sept. 24, deals with a host of global challenges, including nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. The Obama administration hopes to use the month-long appointment to emphasise a departure from the Bush administration's strategy of pursuing its own unilateral policies through the council.
Obama will join other heads of government in New York during the week of the nuclear summit for the opening of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly. Climate change and the Middle East peace process will be on the agenda for the wider body. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, under fire for wining the freedom of a terrorist convicted of killing 270 in the Lockerbie bombing, is due to be on hand and could turn the session into a spectacle.
The State Department has not ruled out the possibility that Obama and Gaddafi would cross paths. They are both due to address the General Assembly on the same day, and the Libyan leader, whose country is a temporary member of the Security Council, is entitled to attend the nuclear summit session that Mr Obama will chair.
Get more: Financial Times