Sign up for GZERO Media's global politics newsletter

{{ subpage.title }}

At UN, Ukraine War Launches “New Debate” on Russia | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Why is Russia on the UN Security Council?

“The UN is back,” said Melissa Fleming, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. In an interview with GZERO Media on the sidelines of the 77th General Assembly, Fleming reflected on the return to in-person diplomacy after years of disruption caused by pandemic.

“There is this real feeling that the UN is the only place for global cooperation,” she said. “We cannot solve the world's intractable problems of climate change, of war, of refugees without multilateralism, and multilateralism is the UN. It is nations working together to solve problems.”

In the interview, Fleming also acknowledged that the collision of recent global crises had created uncertainty about the power of multilateralism. But she said recent diplomatic efforts lead by the UN, including the Black Sea grain initiative to help mitigate a growing food insecurity crisis, have brought renewed energy.

Read Now Show less

Laborer carries food at the main market in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Akila Jayawardana via Reuters

Is the global food crisis here to stay?

The mood surrounding the annual UN General Assembly kickoff this week has been grim. Russia is pounding Ukraine and climate-related disasters are devastating places as far-flung as Pakistan, Portugal, and Puerto Rico.

In 2022, with total war returned to Europe and the global pandemic having scrambled supply chains, the food crisis is where the conversation is at.

Read Now Show less

People gather at a tram stop in front of a board displaying a portrait of a fallen Russian soldier in St. Petersburg. A slogan reads: "Glory to heroes of Russia!"

REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

What We’re Watching: Russian scramble, DeSantis’s migrant flights, Bolsonaro in the night sky

Putin calls up reservists

In his biggest “admission” to date that the war in Ukraine is not going to plan, Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a partial mobilization of Russian reservists. The move is estimated to affect some 300,000 reservists out of the 25 million Russians who fit the criteria of having had some military experience. However, in a rare taped address to the nation, Putin stopped short of actually declaring “war” in Ukraine, instead using his fiery speech to insist that Russia's goals have not changed and to warn NATO that he'll use any weapons at his disposal to achieve Russia’s objectives — a thinly veiled threat that nukes are on the table.

Meanwhile, Tuesday saw two (seemingly contradictory) developments that suggest Ukraine’s aggressive and successful military counteroffensive now has Russian policymakers scrambling for responses. First, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a PBS interviewer that, based on comments made by Putin at last week’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, he believes the Russian president wants to end the war in Ukraine as soon as possible. (Note: Erdoğan’s comments on potential terms of a peace deal may have been badly translated or taken out of context.)

Second, officials from the Russian-backed separatist provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk announced they would hold referendums on the question of joining Russia, beginning on Friday (!) and running through Tuesday. Putin announced his support for the votes, which would pave the way for the annexation of Ukrainian territory the Russian military still controls. Occupation authorities in the southern region of Kherson and in Russian-held parts of Zaporizhzhia quickly said they would do the same. Moscow insists that attacks on any territories annexed by Russia will be treated as attacks on Russia itself, with all the unstated and scary-sounding implications of that distinction. Ukrainian and Western officials have dismissed the votes as illegal and farcical.

Read Now Show less
Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: The kids are not all right

The pandemic wiped out years of progress toward achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, the UN's blueprint for making the world a better place by 2030. There’s no way the deadline will be met at the current pace, which is why UN chief António Guterres has made UNGA 2022 all about rescuing the SDGs. COVID particularly hurt SDG No. 4 — to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all — because extended school lockdowns and unequal access to remote learning meant many kids learned less or nothing at all, which will lead to them having fewer opportunities as adults. What's more, the pandemic-fueled global education crisis has pushed down math and reading proficiency scores. Here's a snapshot of COVID’s impact and the current state of education around the world.

From Your Site Articles
A World Of Knock-On Challenges As Global Leaders Meet. Will They Act? | Quick Take | GZERO Media

A world of knock-on challenges as global leaders meet. Will UNGA act?

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here from a glorious New York City, as it always is this time of year, late summer, early fall. But my God, of course, we also have a very busy New York City because thousands of diplomats from all over the world are all coming here to Midtown, to the East River, to the United Nations, to kick off UN General Assembly week, UNGA, they call it. You don't want to drive. I mean, the traffic is absolutely insane. You want to walk as I usually do. Take the subway to get around at all.

What's going on this week? What's actually happening? It is a relatively negative environment, frankly, in part, because of the land war that's happening in Ukraine and all of the knock-on economic challenges. But in part, because more broadly, so much of what is on the United Nations agenda is not where the world is presently heading. This morning, the UN put out their Human Development Report, something they do every year. And frankly, the direction on things like education, where hundreds of millions of people because of the pandemic are now facing challenges in basic developments, where over 20 million that left school during the last two years are not expected to ever go back. Higher numbers of forced migration because of conflicts in the Middle East, and Africa, and in Europe. Significant, of course, climate impact. We, right now, still have almost a third of Pakistan underwater with tens of millions having been displaced.

Read Now Show less

Malala Yousafzai speaks during the Transforming Education Summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in Manhattan, New York.

Reuters

What We’re Watching: UNGA meets amid global crises, Hungary scrambles to secure EU funds, protests persist in Iran

UNGA high-level talks begin

World leaders are gathering at the United Nations headquarters in New York this week for the annual General Assembly. The event kicked off Monday with a summit on education. On the plus side, they’re attending in person for the first time since the pandemic began. On the down side, the world is as divided as it’s been at any time since the Cold War. An overarching item on the agenda will be the ongoing war in Ukraine — debate will focus not only on how to end the war, but also the extent to which the nations of the world are willing to hold Russia accountable for starting the conflict and for potential war crimes. A second but related issue is the ongoing global food crisis, which has been worsened by the war in Ukraine despite a recent agreement to resume grain shipments from Ukrainian ports. The UN World food program is worried food prices could continue to rise over the next five years. Third is climate change, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres has warned that “the message to world leaders is clear: lower the temperature — now.”

Read Now Show less
Annie Gugliotta

2021: Groundhog Day in a G-Zero world

Did 2021 actually happen, or are we still stuck in 2020? So many things seem to have barely changed this year. After all, we’re entering yet another holiday season worried about a fresh wave of the pandemic, and uncertain about what comes next for our economies and our politics.

In a lot of ways, the past 365 days feel like a year of unfulfilled promise. Let’s have a look back at what did, and did not happen in 2021.

Read Now Show less

Who said what at the 76th UNGA

Most of the hard-hitting conversations at the UN General Assembly take place behind closed doors. Still, during High-Level Week, when leaders get up to speak at the podium, it's their one big shot to send a message to representatives from the entire world. Here's some of what went down today:

Read Now Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal

Latest