mcloudy.png
Tuesday November 29th, 2022 3:12PM

'Our world is in peril': At UN, leaders push for solutions

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The world's problems seized the spotlight Tuesday as the U.N. General Assembly's yearly meeting of world leaders opened with dire assessments of a planet beset by escalating crises and conflicts that an aging international order seems increasingly ill-equipped to tackle.

After two years when many leaders weighed in by video because of the coronavirus pandemic, now presidents, premiers, monarchs and foreign ministers have gathered almost entirely in person for diplomacy's premier global event.

But the tone is far from celebratory. Instead, it's the blare of a tense and worried world.

“We are gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction," Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, adding that “our world is in peril — and paralyzed.”

He and others pointed to conflicts ranging from Russia's six-month-old war in Ukraine to the decades-long dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. Speakers worried about a changing climate, spiking fuel prices, food shortages, economic inequality, migration, disinformation, discrimination, hate speech, public health and more.

Priorities varied, as did prescriptions for curing the humanity's ills. But in a forum dedicated to the idea of bringing the world together, many leaders sounded a common theme: The globe needs cooperation, dialogue and trust, now more than ever.

“We live in an era of uncertainty and shocks," Chilean President Gabriel Boric said. “It is clear nowadays that no country, large or small, humble or powerful, can save itself on its own.”

Or, as Guterres put it, “Let’s work as one, as a coalition of the world, as united nations.”

It’s rarely that easy. As Guterres himself noted, geopolitical divisions are undermining the work of the U.N. Security Council, international law, people’s trust in democratic institutions, and most forms of international cooperation.

“The divergence between developed and developing countries, between North and South, between the privileged and the rest, is becoming more dangerous by the day,” the secretary-general said. “It is at the root of the geopolitical tensions and lack of trust that poison every area of global cooperation, from vaccines to sanctions to trade."

While appeals to preserve large-scale international cooperation — or multilateralism, in diplomatic parlance — abound, so do different ideas about the balance between working together and standing up for oneself, and about whether an “international order” set up after World War II needs reordering.

"We want a multilateralism that is open and respectful of our differences," Senegalese President Macky Sall said. He added that the U.N. can win all countries' support only “on the basis of shared ideals, and not local values erected as universal norms.”

After the pandemic forced an entirely virtual meeting in 2020 and a hybrid one last year, delegates reflecting the world's countries and cultures are once again filling the halls of the United Nations headquarters this week. Before the meeting began, leaders and ministers wearing masks wandered the assembly hall, chatting individually and in groups.

It was a sign that that despite the fragmented state of the international community, the United Nations remains the key gathering place for global leaders. Nearly 150 heads of state and government have signed on to speak during the nearly weeklong “General Debate,” a high number that illustrates the gathering's distinction as a place to deliver their views and meet privately to discuss various challenges -- and, they hope, make some progress.

Guterres made sure to start out by sounding a note of hope. He showed a photo of the first U.N.-chartered ship carrying grain from Ukraine — part of a deal between Ukraine and Russia that the U.N. and Turkey helped broker — to the Horn of Africa, where millions of people are on the edge of famine It is, he said, an example of promise “in a world teeming with turmoil.”

Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine topped the agenda for many speakers.

The conflict has become the largest war in Europe since World War II and has opened fissures among major powers in a way not seen since the Cold War. It also has raised fears of a nuclear catastrophe at a large power plant in Ukraine's now Russia-occupied southeast.

Meanwhile, the loss of important grain and fertilizer exports from Ukraine and Russia has triggered a food crisis, especially in developing countries, and inflation and a rising cost of living in many nations.

As Jordan's King Abdullah II noted, well-off countries that are having unfamiliar experiences of scarcity “are discovering a truth that people in developing countries have known for a long time: For countries to thrive, affordable food must get to every family’s table."

Leaders in many countries are trying to prevent a wider war and restore peace in Europe. Diplomats, though, aren’t expecting any breakthroughs this week.

In an impassioned speech to the assembly, French President Emmanuel Macron said no country can stand on the sidelines in the face of Russia’s aggression. He accused those who remain silent of being “in a way complicit with a new cause of imperialism” that is trampling on the current world order and is making peace impossible.

Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova's country has long depended on Russia for oil and gas. But Slovakia has provided military aid to neighbor Ukraine, she noted.

“We, the members of the U.N., need to clearly side with victim over aggressor,” she said.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, protection of civilians and “the maintenance of all channels of dialogue between the parties.” But he opposed what he called “one-sided or unilateral” Western sanctions, saying they have harmed economic recovery and have threatened human rights of vulnerable populations.

Neither Ukraine nor Russia has yet had its turn to speak. The assembly has agreed to allow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to speak by video, over objections from Russia and a few of its allies.

Zelenskyy's speech is expected Wednesday, as is an in-person address from U.S. President Joe Biden. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due to take the rostrum Saturday.

___

Edith M. Lederer, chief U.N. correspondent for The Associated Press, contributed to this report. For more AP coverage of the U.N. General Assembly, visit https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP World News - International incidents, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
4 Ukrainian regions schedule votes this week to join Russia
The separatist leaders of four Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine say they are planning to hold referendums this week for the territories to become part of Russia as Moscow loses ground in the war it launched
5:40PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Fiona swipes Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico faces big cleanup
Hurricane Fiona is blasting the Turks and Caicos Islands as a Category 3 storm after devastating Puerto Rico, where most people remain without electricity or running water
5:40PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Stocks close lower ahead of Fed decision on interest rates
Stocks closed lower on Wall Street ahead of a key decision on interest rates by the Federal Reserve
5:38PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Family sues Little League over bunk bed fall, head injury
A Utah boy who suffered a serious head injury after falling from a bunk bed during last month’s Little League World Series has returned home from the hospital and his family is suing the league and the company that made the bed
5:00PM ( 45 minutes ago )
W.Va. announces $147M opioid settlement with CVS, Walmart
Walmart and CVS Pharmacy have settled with the state of West Virginia for a combined total of $147 million in a lawsuit over the companies’ roles in contributing to the opioid epidemic
5:00PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Ethics board keeps 'action' secret on complaint against Noem
A South Dakota ethics board is keeping it a secret what action it took after finding there was evidence Gov. Kristi Noem improperly intervened in her daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser license
4:59PM ( 47 minutes ago )
AP National News
US stocks fall broadly ahead of key Fed decision on rates
Stocks are falling broadly on Wall Street and Treasury yields are mostly rising ahead of a key decision on interest rates by the Federal Reserve
3:43PM ( 2 hours ago )
Fiona wallops Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico still stunned
Hurricane Fiona is blasting the Turks and Caicos Islands as a Category 3 storm after devastating Puerto Rico, where most people remain without electricity or running water
3:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
UN chief: World is 'paralyzed' and equity is slipping away
In an alarming assessment, the head of the United Nations is telling world leaders that nations are “gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction” and aren’t ready or willing to tackle major challenges
3:12PM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
France: No nation can stay 'indifferent' on Ukraine war
French President Emanuel Macron is admonishing countries not to stay neutral about condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine, and he's declaring that Moscow’s invasion amounts to a new form of imperialism
5:00PM ( 46 minutes ago )
UN experts: Rights abuses continue in Maduro's Venezuela
Independent experts working with the U.N.‘s human rights body say Venezuelan authorities have failed to hold to account state-backed perpetrators of violations including arbitrary executions, sexual violence and torture of civilians
4:56PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Philippines leader: Rich countries have put poorest at risk
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is telling leaders gathered at the United Nations that the world’s richest people have put its poorest at risk
4:51PM ( 55 minutes ago )
AP World News
Celebrities coming back to White House after Trump drought
Big-name celebrities are coming back to the White House after boycotting America's most famous address under Donald Trump
5:11PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Manchin rails against 'revenge politics' on permit plan
Sen. Joe Manchin on Tuesday railed against what he called “revenge politics″ being used against him, as liberals in the House and Senate team up with Republicans to oppose his plan to speed permits for natural gas pipelines and other energy projects
5:09PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Fan arrested for allegedly throwing bottle at Browns owner
A fan was arrested for allegedly throwing a plastic water bottle and hitting Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam during the closing moments of Sunday’s 31-30 home loss to the New York Jets
4:26PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
4 Ukrainian separatist regions plan votes to join Russia
The separatist leaders of four Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine say they are planning to hold referendums this week for the territories to become part of Russia as Moscow loses ground in the war it launched
10:22AM ( 7 hours ago )
2 Ukrainian separatist regions plan votes to join Russia
The separatist leaders of the Russia-controlled areas of Luhansk and Donetsk regions in Ukraine said they were planning to hold votes starting later this week for the territories to become part of Russia
8:29AM ( 9 hours ago )
Donetsk, Luhansk to hold votes this week to join Russia
The separatist leaders of the Russia-controlled areas of Luhansk and Donetsk regions in Ukraine said they were planning to hold votes starting later this week for the territories to become part of Russia
8:22AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP World News - International incidents
UK's Truss says she'll slash taxes despite economic crisis
U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss said Tuesday that she’s ready to make “unpopular decisions” such as boosting bonuses for wealthy bankers in order to get the U.K.’s sluggish economy growing
11:06AM ( 6 hours ago )
Germany close to deal on nationalizing gas firm Uniper
German natural gas importer Uniper says it’s in “final discussions” with the government on a deal for Berlin to take a majority stake
10:42AM ( 7 hours ago )
Wall Street opens lower ahead of key Fed decision on rates
Stocks are opening broadly lower on Wall Street and Treasury yields are rising ahead of a key decision on interest rates by the Federal Reserve
9:47AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
4 Ukrainian regions schedule votes this week to join Russia
The separatist leaders of four Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine say they are planning to hold referendums this week for the territories to become part of Russia as Moscow loses ground in the war it launched
5:40PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Fiona swipes Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico faces big cleanup
Hurricane Fiona is blasting the Turks and Caicos Islands as a Category 3 storm after devastating Puerto Rico, where most people remain without electricity or running water
5:40PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Stocks close lower ahead of Fed decision on interest rates
Stocks closed lower on Wall Street ahead of a key decision on interest rates by the Federal Reserve
5:38PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Feds: 47 exploited pandemic to steal $250M from food program
Federal authorities have charged 47 people in what they're calling the largest fraud scheme yet to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by stealing and defrauding the government of $250 million
5:38PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Arbiter in Trump docs probe signals intent to move quickly
The independent arbiter tasked with inspecting documents seized in an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home says he intends to push briskly though the review process
5:33PM ( 13 minutes ago )