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Martin S. Edwards, Associate Professor and Chair, School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University, says: “I think you’re right that the depth and breadth of the work that the UN is launching is more than just symbolic.”
With Bolsonaro set to address the General Assembly right before Trump (on 24 September), their comments will mirror each other, and will be in stark contrast to many of the other delegates, he added.
But the important thing, he pointed out, is that there’s needed substance here. “The US might well sit out the Climate Action Summit, and that’s fine. The work of the UN and the member countries will go on without it”.
As for the SDGs, he said, this is a signature UN initiative that needs more attention and focus. “The world is not on track to reach many of these goals, and without greater commitment by member governments, they are not likely to be met by 2030. With the US disengaged from many of these discussions, it falls to the Secretary-General to recommit leaders to these goals,” Edwards noted.
James Paul, a former executive director of the New York-based Global Policy Forum, says, “This is a time of great international uncertainty and instability. What does this mean for the UN as a cluster of high-profile meetings approaches? And what can we expect from these events?”
“My sense is this: nationalistic enthusiasm is now waning at the popular level and posturing leaders are under increasing pressure from below to deliver more than rhetoric,” said Paul, author of the recently-released book, Of Foxes and Chickens: Oligarchy and Global Power in the UN Security Council. (IPS)
This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.
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