World leaders are arriving at the United Nations headquarters for an annual confab with hopes of addressing everything from superbugs to climate change and a global anti-poverty drive that is already faltering in its first year.
Presidents, diplomats and their delegations must also broach impromptu items, such as North Korea’s recent nuclear test. A US air raid that allegedly killed at least 62 Syrian government soldiers on Saturday threatens a fragile truce in that country and sparked fresh rows at the UN.
On top of that, the United States, Russia, China and other UN heavyweights must see beyond their differences and agree on who will run the world body once the incumbent, Ban Ki-moon, steps down at the end of the year.
On Monday, the UN will host a summit for refugees and migrants that may have already failed – countries refused to commit themselves to a UN target of resettling 10 percent of refugees each year.
The outcome is a “watered-down version of what we had hoped for”, Erol Kekic, from the refugee aid group Church World Service, told Al Jazeera, adding that denying hope to the world’s 21 million refugees was “irresponsible and frankly dangerous”.
A separate meeting on refugees, to be hosted by US President Barack Obama on Tuesday, will probably gain more traction, not least because any leader showing up must come bearing gifts. Guests will be giving cash, letting more refugees into their countries or helping them find jobs.
Obama’s presence raises a question all of its own. His internationalism has buoyed UN meetings over the past eight years, but he leaves office in January and US voters have yet to decide who will replace him.
Read More: aljazeera