The 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly this past week became a forum to address some global issues plaguing the population of the planet. The main topics, of course, were the Covid pandemic and global warming.
The assembly witnessed the generosity of the US in providing 500 million doses of the Covid vaccine to the developing world and the commitment of the major nations to tend urgently to the dangers of ecological disasters. Even a reticent China pledged to defund coal-operated industries.
The session also provided an opportunity for President Joseph Biden to present a new US direction, shifting from “relentless wars” to “relentless diplomacy.” That statement needs to be seen and analyzed within the context of Foggy Bottom’s containment policy of Russia and challenge to China’s global dominance through soft power.
What interests the Armenians most are the conduct and rhetoric of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mr. Erdogan’s demeanor and body language exuded one single message to the world community: Turkey has become a world player and has to be treated as such.
Before delving into the regional conflicts, where the Turkish president wore the mantle of peacemaker, Mr. Erdogan addressed two major issues: the inefficacy of the UN Security Council and Islamophobia raging in the West.
In recent years, the UN Security Council has become one of the major foci of Mr. Erdogan. He particularly resents the fact that five major permanent members (the US, the UK, France, Russia and China) retain veto power over vital global issues. He maintains that five members are too few to resolve all problems facing the UN and he believes that the time has come for countries like Turkey to join the elite, very much like his contention that Turkey’s international clout warrants it to join the nuclear club.