UN hosts the 78th General Assembly in New York
More than 140 heads of state and government will convene for the General Debate of the UN General Assembly in New York today. The list of speakers includes US President Joe Biden, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Europe’s press reflects on the state of the organisation.
Saving the world from hell
Dnevnik warns against overoptimism on the occasion of the UN General Assembly:
“This is an organisation trying to find the lowest common denominator with the fundamental task of maintaining world peace and security. Former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld is credited with saying that the United Nations was not founded to lead the world to heaven, but to save it from hell. Much will be said at the United Nations about how some are facing the threat of going to hell while others are already on the brink or even in it. That will not sound pretty. But there will also be a lot of optimism about how things could be different.”
India and Brazil favourites for expansion
Diário de Notícias reminds readers of the idea of enlarging the Security Council:
“A reform of the United Nations, namely the Security Council with its five permanent members and ten elected for two years, has many supporters but little chance of actually happening, especially in view of the current confrontation between the West and Russia (and also China). However, whenever there is talk of candidates for Security Council membership there is a kind of favourite duo, namely Brazil and India. ... Brazil, which sent troops to fight the Nazis in 1945, dreamed of becoming a permanent member. And it was given the consolation of always being allowed to give the first speech at each annual session of the UN General Assembly.”