As the world is rocked by a confluence of crises, the global economic outlook for 2022 is becoming ever more uncertain and fragile. Prospects for sustainable development for all and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 are bleak, particularly for developing countries.
The unprecedented flow of arms to Ukraine, and the rising miliary spending by European nations to strengthen their defenses, are threatening to undermine development aid to the world’s poorer nations.
Now, since the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, the world’s attention has been focused on the war’s terrifying levels of death, destruction and suffering.
In the eyes of the Kremlin leadership, the basic precondition of the successful war against Ukraine has been the perceived power of the Russian Armed Forces and possible superiority over the Ukrainian forces.
The other day a friend asked me “Can Russia be expelled from the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority?”
Almost impossible to do that, I responded.
A legendary quote attributed to Joseph Stalin most likely applies to the United Nations too. “How many divisions does the Pope have?” asked the Soviet leader, interrupting a speech by Winston Churchill in a bygone era.
When Madeleine Albright was nominated to be the first female US Secretary of State back in 1997, some apparently questioned whether “a woman could go toe-to-toe with world leaders”.
“Madeleine quickly quashed those misguided doubts,” says Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a tribute to Albright, who passed away last week at the age of 84. “There was simply no doubt that, in any room, she was as tough as anyone and often tougher. That said, it wasn’t always easy.”
In an opinion piece published in PassBlue on 15 March 2022, historian Stephen Schlesinger asked, "Where is the UN's Guterres?" as Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war on Ukraine has been dominating the world’s headline news.
Ukraine is on fire. The country is being decimated before the eyes of the world. The impact on civilians is reaching terrifying proportions.
Countless innocent people – including women and children – have been killed. After being hit by Russian forces, roads, airports and schools lie in ruins.
Conventional arms have been a central, and at times controversial, component of the U.S.-Ukraine relationship since 2014. Indeed, former President Trump’s impeachment proceedings originated with an alleged quid-pro-quo related suspension of military aid to Ukraine.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was certainly not a surprise and has unambiguously exposed the West’s weakness. The question is what lesson the United States and its allies should learn from it and what measures they must now undertake to prevent Putin or any future ruthless Russian autocrat from ever daring to invade another country.
The ongoing war in Ukraine has raised the question of expulsion or suspension of the Russian Federation from the United Nations. As is known, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, its UN seat was transferred to the Russian Federation.
Georg Hegel once stated: ”What experience and history teach is this — that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it.” Nevertheless, self-taught historian Vladimir Putin has learned to interpret history in his own manner. During COVID he went down in Kremlin’s archives and after studying old maps and treaties he wrote a lengthy essay On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians
, while declaring that ”the formation of an ethnically pure Ukrainian state is an aggression directed against Russia.”
The overwhelming condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine—which triggered a veto from Russia and an abstention from China last week – has raised a challenging question about the legitimacy of UN memberships of both countries which are permanent members of the Security Council.
This aphorism which dates back to the late 1940s points out that one’s position on issues (where you stand
) is shaped by your relationship with the events taking place (where you sit
The majority of the world wants peace. This is clear by now. Just consider the many large-scale anti-war demonstrations taking place around the world; and the outpour of solidarity and support for the people in the Ukraine and the more than one million Ukrainians who fled from their country.
The world’s financial institutions, primarily in the US and Europe, have cut off links and economically ostracized Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and violation of the UN charter.
The Russian Federation, condemned worldwide for invading a founding member of the United Nations-- and violating the UN charter-- came under heavy fire during a rare Emergency Special Session of the 193-member General Assembly, the highest policy-making body in the Organization.
Russian President and former intelligence officer Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has been at the helm of power since 1999, promoting jingoistic nationalism to keep his hold on power and creating a democratic deficit on the home front.
It is now clear diplomacy matters little to Vladimir Putin. Despite the efforts of a string of presidents and prime ministers to prevent conflict, on 24 February, Putin started the war he’d been itching for.
As a new political twist to an old saying goes: the dogs bark but the military caravan moves on.
Despite ominous warnings from an overwhelming majority of member states both in the General Assembly and the Security Council— against a military attack on Ukraine —Russian President Vladimir Putin stood defiant when he ordered a full-scale invasion of a sovereign territory.