After days focused on Ukraine, other concerns arise at the UN

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

After three days in which the war in Ukraine consumed world leaders at the United Nations, other conflicts and concerns began to emerge.

Some are long-running with global reach that have moved away from public attention recently. Israel’s prime minister called for the establishment of a Palestinian state in a speech on Thursday that focused on that conflict. The Palestinian president speaks on Friday.

Others are regional conflicts that have exploded. Armenia’s prime minister warned that “the risk of further aggression by Azerbaijan remains very high” after the biggest outbreak of hostilities between the two adversaries in nearly two years. The former Soviet countries are in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of Armenian-backed ethnic Armenian forces since a separatist war ended in 1994.

Leaders of Iraq and Pakistan, meanwhile, take the stage on Friday. Both nations are central to the world’s geopolitical order, but have received less global attention in recent years.

The annual meeting of leaders at the UN General Assembly provides an opportunity for each country to raise their concerns and express their hopes. This year’s meeting so far has focused heavily on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the war that followed, as countries bemoaned how the conflict toppled the geopolitical order, repeatedly raised the specter of a nuclear disaster and triggered food and energy crises. .

Russia and Ukraine clashed on Thursday at a Security Council meeting – an extraordinary if brief encounter during which top diplomats from warring nations were in the same room exchanging barbs and accusations, though not directly with each other.

At the meeting, the United States urged other nations to tell Russia to stop making nuclear threats and end the “horror” of its war. Moscow has repeated its frequent allegations that Kyiv has long oppressed Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine – one of the explanations Vladimir Putin’s government has offered for the invasion.

The Security Council meeting came a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking to the assembled leaders by video, insisted that his forces would win the war and demanded more robust UN action. The General Assembly gave Zelenskyy a pass to leave his war nation so he could appear remotely – a decision Russia opposed.

Meanwhile, in the assembly hall, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid delivered a speech focused on Palestinians.

The speech, ahead of the November 1 elections, appeared to be part of an effort by Lapid to portray himself – to voters and global leaders alike – as a statesman and a moderate alternative to his main rival, former Prime Minister Benjamin. Netanyahu.

“An agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two peoples, is the right thing for Israel’s security, for Israel’s economy and for the future of our children,” Lapid said.

But he was short on details, and there is virtually no chance that Lapid, who has long supported a two-state solution, will be able to advance his vision. Israel’s parliament is dominated by parties that oppose Palestinian independence, and opinion polls predict a similar outcome after the upcoming elections.

Palestinians look to the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip – territories captured by Israel in 1967 – for an independent state, a position that enjoys broad international support.


Associated Press journalists Andrew Katell in New York and Josef Federman in Jerusalem contributed to this report. For more UN General Assembly AP coverage, visit

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at

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