The United Nations planned to host the World Summit Meeting on Ellis Island to highlight and discuss pertinent world issues - ranging from weapons treaties, the environment, and the mutant phenomenon. Various world leaders and other international dignitaries were expected to attend.
Magneto planned to use his machine to convert the various notables at the event, so as to have them identify more with mutant-kind. The conversion machine would be installed within the torch of the Statue of Liberty so that it would have maximum effect.
As the X-Men attempt to stop Magneto on Liberty Island, they have an opportunity to warn him of the instability of his machine. However, he arrogantly refuses to listen, convinced that the machine will convert the humans rather than kill them. After an intense battle with Sabretooth, the X-Men are able to subdue Magneto and destroy the machine before its energy field reaches Ellis Island.