– The UN General Assembly began in a global crisis
The war in Ukraine, climate disasters, food insecurity…leaders have been following each other since Tuesday on the floor of a faction-tested UN General Assembly.
For almost a week, around 150 heads of state and government from around the world will address the annual diplomatic summit, which is resuming in person after two years disrupted by Covid-19.
Traditionally, this first day honors the speech of the President of the United States, who is the first to speak as the head of the country that hosts the headquarters of the United Nations. But exceptionally – on very rare occasions in the past – this will not be the case: Joe Biden, who was at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, postponed his intervention to Wednesday.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will be there with an opening address for the 77th General Assembly, which will “not slow things down,” his spokesman Stephane Dujarric assured. Geopolitical divisions endanger us all. “We meet at a time of great peril for the world,” Antonio Guterres said on Monday, citing “conflicts and climate disasters”, “mistrust and division”, “poverty, inequality and discrimination”.
Zelensky in the video
On the dangerous side, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be the focus of this high-profile diplomatic week, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing Wednesday — via video thanks to special recognition voted by member states last week — and the Security Council Thursday at the level of foreign ministers.
But the South is increasingly irritated by the Western focus on Ukraine. “We don’t just want to talk about ending the conflict in Ukraine. We want an end to conflict in Tigray, an end to conflict in Syria, an end to conflict wherever it appears in the world,” Barbados Prime Minister Mia said on Monday. goals.
Iranian nuclear power
In an attempt to respond to some countries’ concerns, the Americans and Europeans are organizing a high-level meeting on Tuesday on food security, which has affected the entire world as a result of the war.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who will be on stage in the middle of Tuesday, will emphasize the need to prevent the “rupture” between the countries of the North and the South, which is indicated in the Elysée, and the head of state will organize a dinner with several leaders on this topic.
These tensions, fueled by the war in Ukraine, echo North-South discontent over the fight against climate change. Poor countries, which they do not hold responsible for the devastating impacts of global warming, are particularly struggling to ensure that rich countries fulfill their financial aid promises.
Two months before the UN COP27 climate conference in Egypt, it would be surprising if the climate crisis did not feature prominently in the speech of António Guterres, one of the biggest fossil fuel producers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. its priorities.
On Tuesday, Brazilian Presidents Jair Bolsonaro and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will face each other on stage.
Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi is in New York this week for his first General Assembly, and the nuclear issue could again be at the center of the discussions. Although the negotiations to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are officially taking place in Vienna, the French foreign minister, for example, has not ruled out a meeting between Presidents Macron and Raisi.
However, there were some notable absentees from this high-profile week, notably Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.