The annual meeting of world leaders at the U.N. begins today, but many heads of state are skipping the event.Credit…Bryan Woolston/Associated Press
The U.N. convenes amid growing divisions
The U.N. General Assembly convenes today, but of the leaders of the five permanent members of the Security Council — the U. S., Russia, China, France and Britain — only President Biden will attend.The absences highlight increasing global divisions.
This year’s gathering was planned with an eye toward the growing demands of the global south. These developing countries have been frustrated by the world’s focus on the conflict in Ukraine while their crises have received minimal attention. Discussions have been scheduled on climate change, sovereign debt relief and ways to help struggling countries reach the U.N.’s development goals.
Analysts said that by skipping the annual gathering, world leaders risked weakening the U.N. when the institution was struggling to remain relevant. The U.N.’s agencies are still at the forefront of providing humanitarian aid, but during the war in Ukraine and a series of military coups in Africa, the world body has been marginalized as a negotiator and mediator.
A first: President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine will attend the assembly in person for the first time since Russia invaded his country. He will travel to Washington later this week to demonstrate that the billions of dollars the U.S. is spending on aid to his country are not being squandered.
Ukraine dismissed all six of its deputy defense ministers yesterday, deepening the housecleaning at a ministry that had drawn criticism for corruption in procurement.
Trying to break a cycle: The government of Ghana is essentially bankrupt, and has turned to the International Monetary Fund for its 17th financial rescue since it gained independence in 1957.
Similar cycles of crisis and bailout have plagued dozens of poor and middle-income countries for decades, threatening to unravel painstaking gains in education, health care and incomes. These pitiless loops are expected to be discussed at the U.N. gathering.
A face of change: Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, Iraq’s prime minister, will address the U.N., hoping to persuade the world that he can finally solve his country’s problems of corruption and instability — and make it a reliable partner for the region.
Iran releases 5 detained Americans
Five Americans who had been imprisoned in Iran were allowed to leave the country yesterday, President Biden said, after two years of negotiations.
The U.S. agreed to unfreeze $6 billion in Iranian oil revenue and dismiss federal charges against five Iranians accused of violating U.S. sanctions. Republicans accusedBiden of helping to finance Iran’s terrorist activities.
The Americans — some of whom had been held for years in the notorious Evin Prison — flew to Qatar for an exchange with two of the five Iranians. Three others declined to return to Iran, according to U.S. officials. Here’s what we know about the detainees.
Trudeau accuses India of a killing in Canada
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada said yesterday that “agents of the Indian government” carried out the fatal shooting of a Sikh community leader in British Columbia in June, making the accusation based on intelligence gathered by the Canadian government.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Trudeau said that he raised the issue directly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India at the Group of 20 summit this month.
The community leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, was shot near a Sikh temple. He had advocated turning part of India into an independent Sikh nation, and India had declared him a wanted terrorist.
The allegation is likely to further strain relations between the two countries. This month, Canada suspended negotiations on a trade deal with India.
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A Morning Read
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As the world warms, every way we build cities amplifies the problem of extreme heat.
Singapore, which has warmed at twice the global average over the past six decades, is trying to arrest that slide. Many of its strategies are straightforward and cheaper than flood or hurricane planning: Singapore is encouraging the integration of greenery directly into buildings by offering financial incentives for rooftop gardens and vertical green facades. This is the most efficient way to reduce a city’s temperature, researchers say, but it has to be treated as infrastructure.
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Play the Spelling Bee. (If you’re stuck, the Bee Buddy can help.) And here’s the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku.
That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Justin
P.S. The Times won six awards from the Society of American Travel Writers.
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