New outcries for gun control have followed the horrible tragedies of mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo. “Evil came to that elementary school classroom in Texas, to that grocery store in New York, to far too many places where innocents have died,” President Biden declared over the weekend during a university commencement address.
Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has sparked a new introspection in the West. A number of commentators, most of them writing from the US and the UK, have come up with their latest scapegoat: Germany’s to blame, they say, with its decades-long policy of appeasing Russia. Really?
Mr. Vladimir Putin’s illegal War of Aggression in Ukraine, launched on February 24, 2022, brought into stark relief the fractured state of Global Peace and Security. Militarized conflicts, civilian deaths and forced migration in the tens of millions have been ongoing for decades, with little or no relief to the beleaguered victims.
A revised Iran nuclear deal based on the 2015 JCPOA could provide the basis for a new Biden administration strategy that would limit Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful purposes and ensure that Tehran’s public pronouncement that it is not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons becomes a de facto reality.
The Russian Federation, which invaded Ukraine last February killing scores of civilians and destroying entire cities, has been condemned, vilified and ostracized by the international community.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was emphatic last month when he remarked: “The use of force by one country against another is the repudiation of the principles that every country has committed to uphold. This applies to the present military offensive. It is wrong. It is against the Charter. It is unacceptable”.
Amidst a backdrop of rising food insecurity worldwide and a global food supply chain crisis, many countries are attempting to increase the level of food self-production. One improved input for farming which is receiving renewed attention is improved seed. The two most populous countries in the world, China and India, have recently made ground-breaking moves to improve their competitive position by developing new seeds which will improve their food production and increase resilience to climate change. So far, in 2022, new regulations on using biotechnology (genetic modification and gene editing
) have been put in place by both countries to ultimately allow smallholder farmers to benefit from these new seeds.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal war on Ukraine, along with his implied threats of nuclear weapons use against any who would interfere, has raised the specter of nuclear conflict.
The breakout of the conflict in Ukraine and the following imposition of heavy Western sanctions
on Russia are causing sharp price increases
in food and energy commodities —of which both Ukraine and Russia represent key exporters — as well as disruptions to global supply chains, impacting the post-pandemic economic recovery.
The five permanent members (P5) of the UN Security Council (UNSC) – UK, US, France, China and Russia – have exercised their veto powers primarily to protect their own national interests or the interests of their close political and military allies.
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.