New York was buzzing last week with global deal making and policy baking at the United Nations General Assembly. UNGA is what wonks call the meetings that mark the annual start of the intensive foreign policy season for world leaders, bringing together under one domed roof bullies and brainiacs. This annual U.N. conclave provides a time and space for allies and adversaries to try to play nice and make peace.
The U.N. gets a bad rap from many American policymakers and pundits, though Donald Trump is willing to renovate the place and save it a billion dollars. There are plenty of things wrong with an unwieldy body that weights democratic and dictatorial voices equally and gives disproportionate heft to blocs and beneficiaries, sinners and supplicants.
But every once in a while, the U.N. brings about solutions to seemingly intractable international problems. It is currently on the verge of solving the 41-year-old division of Cyprus.
UNGA watchers focused on the pronouncements, popularity or posturing of leaders from China, India, Russia, Cuba and Washington, D.C., while in the shadows, dedicated diplomats hashed away at ending a multigenerational U.N. peacekeeping mission. For the first time in years, it appears that peace may actually be at hand for the Mediterranean island nation. Read more.