The fundamental principles of the United Nations are under threat News84Media


The international order that the UN has enshrined is breaking down.

“Our world is in great trouble”, this is how Secretary General António Guterres put it at the opening of the annual General debate tuesday.

The UN has rarely lived up to its noblest goals. But it is hard to remember a time when its fundamental principles of forging common solutions for peace, upholding human rights and promoting international law were so threatened.

Russia, a member state, flouted the UN charter with its invasion of Ukraine. Neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping will bother to show up for the Big Apple leaders’ meeting – despite meeting separately last week. And the recent floods in Pakistan suggest that UN efforts to negotiate agreements limiting carbon emissions are already too late for some countries.

In the past, the UN was a hotbed of wartime diplomacy. But those days are over as Beijing and Moscow wield their vetoes in the Security Council to hamper mediation efforts in places like Syria and Ukraine. After its invasion earlier this year, Russia turned council meetings into a theater of the absurd.

US President Joe Biden will extend his series of candid talks when he calls on the world on Wednesday to stand up against Moscow’s “naked aggression”, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said. Biden’s warnings that the world is dividing into a duel between despots and Democrats are watching the money.

Of course, America’s critics point out that it has often seemed to violate the principles of the United Nations itself, with its wars in Vietnam and Iraq, for example. And any return to power of former President Donald Trump, who subverted American diplomacy by dissenting Western allies and coddling tyrants, could undo Biden’s efforts to salvage international law.

All of this explains the extraordinarily dark tone of the Secretary-General’s speech, who lamented that there was “no cooperation, no dialogue, no collective problem solving” while warning that “the reality is that we are living in a world where the logic of dialogue and cooperation is the only way forward.

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