Ukraine looms over the United Nations General Assembly

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On Friday, the largest body of the United Nations voted to let Ukraine speak. Majority of the 193 member states of the General Assembly approve a document that granted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky an exception to virtually speaking in front of the room this week, even after UN officials determined that the speech at this year’s high-level session of The General Assembly, which begins on Tuesday, must be broadcast live. Russia can only ask six other countries – Cuba, Eritrea, Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua and Syria – to vote against.

Zelensky will speak on Wednesday, between the presidents of Indonesia and Malawi, according to UN schedule. It’s safe to say that his speech will garner the biggest headlines of the day. The conflict that has spread across Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on February 24 will overshadow much of the proceedings in and around the United Nations this week as delegates and dignitaries gather at the organization’s headquarters in New York City.

This annual parade of world leaders to the stage of the General Assembly often feels quite Pro forma. Presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers infrequently turn to multilateralism, laying out plans to meet development goals and issuing warnings about long-term global challenges like climate change. It’s diversity and polarization. Sometimes, a far-right nationalist like former president Donald Trump or Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro or an ethnic minority like the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez choose to make things more interestingif less diplomatic.

However, this year, there will certainly be more head-to-head advantages. “The war has dominated diplomacy at the United Nations so far this year and is the biggest challenge to the agency’s principles, at least since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.” observe a report by the International Crisis study group. After all, Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, has violated the key principles of the United Nations Charter on the prohibition of the use of force, commit alleged war crimesand rejected criticism in the main UN convening chambers.

“The geostrategic divides are the widest they have been since at least the Cold War,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: last week. “They are paralyzing the global response to the stark challenges we face.”

President Biden, arriving late after attending Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, won’t quite bridge the divide. Far from Trump’s extremism, he will likely advance his administration’s efforts to work with European allies to back Ukraine and remove Russian President Vladimir Putin for inciting a global crisis. Like Trump, he will likely emphasize his concerns with China’s violence against Taiwan and Iran’s escalation over its nuclear program. The Western Power is also contemplating a symbolic bid at the United Nations Human Rights Council to press China further on allegations of abuse of Uighur Muslims.

When Biden was vice president, the main plot at successive UN talks surrounded whether President Barack Obama would meet his Iranian counterpart in the Turtle Bay corridor. Such a meeting seems uncontroversial now, with Iran’s hardline President Ebrahim Raisi refusing a meeting with Biden in Washington. an interview gave it to CBS’s “60 Minutes,” where he said he saw no distinction between the current U.S. administration and its predecessor.

On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings, the United States, the European Union and the African Union will lead a summit on food security – an overarching, pressing issue for many places. around the world such as the war in Ukraine and the pandemic stretching the supply chain. and caused inflation to skyrocket in various countries.

In this respect, as well as taking into account the pandemic and the ongoing efforts to immunize the world, there are still marked gaps between the West and other countries. Diplomats from the “Global South” have criticized early Western vaccine nationalism that has seen some wealthy nations hoard supplies of doses while many around the world developing countries cannot even distribute vaccines to frontline health workers.

A recent commission published by the medical journal Lancet concluded that the pandemic was a “major global failure”, “revealing major weaknesses in the UN-based multilateral system, due to excessive nationalism, tensions between great powers” ​​and another factor.

However, in the war in Ukraine, Russia will find little support in New York. While some countries in the developing world want to avoid trade links with the West, no government supports the Kremlin’s destabilizing actions. A meeting last week in Uzbekistan of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a China-led bloc, was perhaps a prelude to things to come. In the public sphere, Putin seems to have acknowledged that he has been backed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in private.

On Thursday, Putin acknowledged his “concerns and questions” about Russia’s ongoing war effort. The next day, he was presented to the camera by Modi. Prime Minister of India said: “Today is not the era of war, and I have talked to you on the phone about this.

“I know your stance on the conflict in Ukraine, on your concerns that you constantly express,” Putin replied. “We will do our best to stop this as soon as possible.”

The war over Russia is not going well, Ukraine’s recent successes are proven. The Russian-backed breakaway republics in the eastern Donbas region are now begging the Kremlin directly annex their territory, perhaps sensed Kyiv’s new impetus. During his exchange with Modi, Putin blamed Kyiv, claiming that they had abandoned the peace talks and were trying to achieve all of their goals “on the battlefield”.

Ukraine’s supporters scoff at such rhetoric coming from the country that launched an unprovoked invasion. The Russians “don’t show that they care about diplomacy,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters. “What they care about is continuing to wage war without cause with Ukraine.”

While Ukraine may be vague about discussions, don’t expect much diplomatic progress this week. “It’s naive to think we’re close to reaching a peace agreement,” Guterres said this weekend.

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