- The UN's annual General Assembly opened Monday, with Secretary-General António Guterres highlighting that the world is facing its highest number of violent conflicts since 1945, as well as high food prices, record temperatures, climate disasters, and unprecedented numbers of migrants and asylum seekers.1
- With the debates beginning Tuesday, global leaders from over 140 countries gathered in New York. Among them is US Pres. Joe Biden, the only leader of the five permanent members of the Security Council — comprised of the US, Russia, China, France, and Britain — to attend in person.2
- Speaking Tuesday, Biden touched on maintaining support for Ukraine, denuclearizing both the Korean Peninsula and Iran, and working with China. He also called for combatting climate change, particularly in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.3
- Analysts and diplomats say the meeting takes place at perhaps the most fraught moment since the Cold War, especially given that Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be in the same room.4
- As world leaders opt not to come to the high-level meeting, some analysts have expressed concern that the UN could become increasingly sidelined on the global stage.5
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by The christian science monitor. This year's General Assembly, and Biden's speech in particular, is a defining moment for the US and the UN. The world is becoming increasingly multipolar, and the US must show that it is still a leader in global affairs, able to counter Russian moves in Ukraine and meet the challenge from the Global South, which is increasingly turning to China. As Biden is the only Security Council representative to attend this year, it's paramount that he show the world that the West is still on top.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Thejournal.ie. The UN's sole job is to help fix the world's problems, but it has failed in each of the most important factors. War, famine, and migration issues have only become more prevalent, while US Pres. Joe Biden makes weak calls for de-escalation in Ukraine. Why has the international body pegged with bringing about progress only allowed for more hardship and destruction? It's time for a candid review of how the UN operates and the part that more neutral countries with fewer conflicts of interest are allowed to play.