UN comes together as fundamental principles are under threat

How ‘Our world is in big trouble’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put it on open year general debate Tuesday.

The United Nations rarely achieves its higher goals. But it is difficult to remember that its fundamental principles of developing peaceful common solutions, supporting human rights and promoting international law were ever so threatened.

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Member State Russia’s invasion of Ukraine violated the UN Charter. Neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping would bother to attend the leaders’ meeting in New York — although they did get together separately last week. Recent floods in Pakistan show that the United Nations’ efforts to broker a deal to curb carbon emissions are too late for some countries.

Once upon a time, the United Nations was a hotbed of wartime diplomacy. But those days are gone as Beijing and Moscow exercise their Security Council veto powers, hampering good offices efforts in places like Syria and Ukraine. After the invasion earlier this year, Russia turned council meetings into absurd theaters.

Guterres speaks at the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

U.S. President Joe Biden will continue his candid speech Wednesday when he called on the world to stand up against Moscow’s “naked aggression,” national security adviser Jack Sullivan said. Biden warns that the world is being divided into a duel between tyrants and Democrats over money.

World leaders gather at UN in 'time of crisis'

Of course, critics of the United States point out that it often seems to violate the principles of the United Nations itself, such as the wars in Vietnam and Iraq. Former President Donald Trump, who upended U.S. diplomacy by defying Western allies and coddling tyrants, could undo Biden’s efforts to save international law if he returns to power.

This all explains the unusually bleak tone of the Secretary-General’s speech, who, while lamenting “no cooperation, no dialogue, and no collective problem-solving,” warns, “The reality is that we live in a dialogue logic that cooperation is the only way forward. “

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