UN Latest: Ukraine Security Council Event Starts With Bickering

A UN Security Council meeting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine descended into bickering from the start, with Russia’s ambassador questioning why President Volodymyr Zelenskiy would be allowed to address the gathering before other heads of state.

(Bloomberg) — A UN Security Council meeting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine descended into bickering from the start, with Russia’s ambassador questioning why President Volodymyr Zelenskiy would be allowed to address the gathering before other heads of state.

Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya’s remarks were a telling symbol of how the work of the UN’s most powerful body has all but ground to a halt since the start of the conflict in part due to Russia’s place as a permanent and veto wielding member.

Allowing Zelenskiy to speak would set an “egregious precedent,” Nebenzya told Albania Prime Minister Edi Rama, who was chairing the meeting.

“There is a solution for this – you stop the war and President Zelenskiy won’t take the floor,” Rama shot back.

With Nebenzya’s protest dismissed, the meeting went ahead and Zelenskiy, wearing an olive-green military fatigues as others wore tailored suits and ties, addressed the council.

Click here for the full schedule of speakers. 

Essential reading:

  • Latest on Russia’s invasion: Biden Calls for More Ukraine Aid as Allies See Longer War
  • Read The Big Take on global fragmentation: The Global Economy Enters an Era of Upheaval
  • Bloomberg geoeconomist Jennifer Welch breaks down China’s effort to exert more influence at the UN
  • Read Iain Marlow’s World Disappointed by the UN Now Looks Elsewhere for Answers. And watch here.

(All times are NY)

EU backs expansion of carbon pricing (11:43 a.m.)

The European Union will support the creation of green bond markets in poorer countries and a reform of the international financial system to prompt low-carbon investment, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

The 27-members bloc also wants to work with the UN Secretary General and interested countries to have at least 60% of global emissions covered by carbon pricing by 2030 compared with the current 23%.

“This already brings revenue of $95 billion so just imagine we could cover 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of revenue that we would get to invest in low- and middle-income countries,” von der Leyen told the Climate Ambition Summit in New York.

Poland’s Duda Jabs at Zelenskiy (7:25 a.m.)

Polish President Andrzej Duda criticized Zelenskiy over a dispute about imported grain in comments that threaten an alliance that’s been central to Kyiv’s push to repel Russia’s invasion.

The dispute centers on Warsaw’s ban on Ukrainian grain imports a month before an election, which has driven a wedge between the wartime allies. 

“We cannot allow that Ukrainian grain is sold on the Polish market without any control,” Duda said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on the sidelines of the General Assembly. “It’s a pity our Ukrainian neighbors don’t want to understand that.”

Read more: Poland’s Duda Jabs at Zelenskiy as Once-Strong Bond Frays

Paraguay Defends Ties With Taiwan (12:35 a.m.)

Paraguay’s President Santiago Peña defended his nation’s diplomatic ties with Taiwan and held up the Asian economy’s shift from agriculture to manufacturing — particularly high-end semiconductors — as a model to follow, resisting domestic pressures to align with China instead.

Paraguay is one of only 13 countries to maintain full diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the self-ruled democracy that China claims as part of its territory. China has steadily picked off Taipei’s diplomatic allies in Latin America amid rising tensions with the US.

Read more: Paraguay’s Leader Defends Ties With Economic Role Model Taiwan

Iran’s President Criticizes US on Nuclear Deal (Tuesday)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called on the US make clear whether it wants a nuclear agreement, criticizing Washington’s track record while leaving the door open to a future deal.

Raisi said Iran had fulfilled its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. He called former President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to withdraw from the deal an “egregious and unilateral crime in the international arena.”

“The United States of America must explain transparently and demonstrate in a verifiable fashion that it does wish to reach a proper conclusion and show her commitment and choose a way, choose a path — either JCPOA or not,” he said.

Raisi spoke a day after Iran freed five Americans in a controversial prisoner swap. He repeated his assertion that Iran doesn’t want a nuclear weapon but has the right to a peaceful nuclear program.

China Warns Against Xinjiang Event (Tuesday)

Chinese diplomats warned all other permanent missions to the UN not to attend an event on the sidelines of the General Assembly dedicated to human rights abuses committed against ethnic Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region.

The event held Tuesday afternoon featured diplomats from the US, the European Union and Germany, and was organized by the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy institute, as well as advocacy groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

“It’s clear to all that the cosponsors are notorious anti-China organizations,” China’s permanent mission to the UN said in a letter.

Read more: China’s UN Mission Warns Against Xinjiang Event in New York 

G-7 Expects Ukraine War to Last Years (Tuesday)

The US and its allies in the Group of Seven now expect the war in Ukraine may drag on for years to come and are building that possibility into their military and financial planning.

A senior official from one European G-7 country said the war may last as much as six or seven more years and that allies need to plan financially to continue support for Kyiv for such a long conflict. G-7 officials discussed the darker outlook at a dinner on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Monday night and agreed that the conflict is likely to last for the medium or long term, a senior US State Department official told reporters Tuesday. 

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