The UN unites because its fundamental principles are under threat

“Our world is a serious problem,” said Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday at the start of the annual General Debate.

The UN has rarely met its highest goals. But it is hard to remember a time when the fundamental principles of achieving common peaceful solutions, protecting human rights and promoting international law have been so threatened.

Russia has violated the UN charter with its invasion of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping won’t bother to show up for the Big Apple leaders’ meeting, despite meeting separately last week. And the recent floods in Pakistan suggest that the UN’s efforts to broker agreements to reduce carbon emissions are too late for some nations.

At one time, the UN was a hotbed of wartime diplomacy. But those days are long gone as Beijing and Moscow use Security Council vetoes to stymie mediation efforts in places like Syria and Ukraine. After its invasion earlier this year, Russia turned council meetings into theaters of the absurd.

Guterres spoke at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

US President Joe Biden will extend his frank conversation on Wednesday when he calls on the world to stand up against “bare aggression” from Moscow, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. Warnings that Biden is dividing the world in a duel between despots and Democrats look on the money.

World leaders gather at UN in 'time of great danger'

Of course, American critics have pointed out that it often violates the principles of the United Nations itself, with the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, for example. And the return to power of former President Donald Trump, who turned US diplomacy on its head by rejecting Western allies and applauding tyrants, could wipe out Biden’s efforts to save international law.

All this explains the extremely sad tone of the Secretary General’s speech, since he lamented that there is “no cooperation, no dialogue, no solution to collective problems” and warned, “the reality is that we live in a world where there is a logic of dialogue. and cooperation is the only way forward” .