Ukraine to dominate as world leaders convene at UN

By Michelle Nichols

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres 

United Nations: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a global food crisis aggravated by the war will be the focus of world leaders when they convene at the United Nations in New York this week, a gathering that is unlikely to yield any progress towards ending the conflict.

“It would be naive to think that we are close to the possibility of a peace deal,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ahead of the high-level meeting of the 193-member UN General Assembly, which starts on Tuesday. “The chances of a peace deal are minimal, at the present moment.”

Geopolitical divides, hardened by the seven-month-old war, are likely to be on full display as the United States and Western allies compete with Russia for diplomatic influence.

US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said: “other countries have expressed the concern that … as we focus on Ukraine, we are not paying attention to what is happening in other crises around the world”.

“That is not the case,” she told reporters, adding that while Ukraine will feature next week “it will not be the only thing that we’re dealing with.”

Guterres said the geopolitical rifts were “the widest they have been since at least the Cold War”. He warned they “are paralysing the global response to the dramatic challenges we face”, citing war, climate, poverty, hunger and inequality.

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