In world beset by turbulence, nations’ leaders gather at UN

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Faced with a complex set of challenges that are testing humanity like never before, world leaders gather at the United Nations this week, in the shadow of Europe’s first major war since World War II – a conflict that triggered a global food crisis and divided major powers in a way not seen since the Cold War.

The many facets of the Ukraine war are expected to dominate the annual gathering, which will come together as many countries and peoples grapple with rising inequality, an escalating climate crisis, the threat of multiple famines, and a cyber-fueled spate of misinformation and hate speech are facing – everything beyond a coronavirus pandemic that is in the middle of its third year.

For the first time since the founding of the United Nations on the rubble of World War II, European nations are witnessing a war waged by nuclear-armed neighbor Russia. Their February 24 invasion not only threatens Ukraine’s survival as an independent democratic nation, but also leaves leaders in many countries concerned about maintaining regional and international peace and preventing a major war.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the strategic divisions – with the West on one side and Russia and increasingly China on the other – “paralyze the global response to the dramatic challenges we face”.

He not only pointed to the devastation in Ukraine after nearly seven months of fighting, but also to the effects of the war on the global economy.

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