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Ukraine crowds out other crises at UN General Assembly

NY The war in Ukraine is defined to dominate this week’s UN General Assembly meeting, overshadowing other global dilemmas like food security, climate change along with other political and humanitarian crises all over the world.

Why it matters: The Biden administration is intent on maintaining the pressure on Moscow, however, many developing countries and aid groups have expressed concern that diplomatic skirmishes on the war will undermine an integral possibility to address other crises that deserve attention.

What they’re saying: Stphane Dujarric, spokesperson for Secretary-General Antnio Guterres, said the war “does use up most of the space” and may ensure it is harder to create momentum and consensus on other issues.

  • Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso told Axios within an interview that the concentrate on Ukraine is understandable so long as the big powers notice that the knock-on ramifications of soaring food and fuel costs are hitting smaller, poorer countries hardest.
  • However, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the UN, argued prior to the summit that those concerns were misplaced, because the war “will never be the thing that we’re coping with.”The U.S. and African and European Unions will co-host a summit on food security, for instance.

Driving the news headlines: Kicking off the six-day procession of speeches at the moment, Guterres called focus on the selection of crises unfolding “definately not the spotlight” from Ethiopia, to Haiti, to Myanmar and beyond.

  • He also acknowledged that instead of taking collective action, the international community and the UN itself have been “paralyzed” by “geopolitical divides.”
  • That paralysis will undoubtedly be on display Thursday, when Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and their counterparts are anticipated to go over Ukraine at the UN Security Council. Russia is outnumbered on the council, but wields a veto.

The picture as a whole: The UN General Assembly is back at full force for the very first time in 3 years.

  • Days gone by two annual gatherings were derailed by COVID-19, however the pandemic has slipped down the agenda & most delegates are wandering UN HQ maskless.

What things to watch: President Biden forfeited the prime U.S. speaking slot today (always second after Brazil) to visit back from Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, and can instead speak on Wednesday.

  • China and Russia won’t address the forum until Saturday, because both Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are staying home, and ministerial-level officials obtain the later speaking slots.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, however, is slated to handle the forum remotely on Wednesday.

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