Putin absent from UN meeting in New York but on everyones lips

Russian President Putin is the major absentee at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, but he is the topic of discussion in the corridors of the UN. For example, Foreign Minister Hoekstra called the referendums announced on Tuesday in several occupied territories in Ukraine โ€œcompletely unacceptable. It is a country that belongs to the state of Ukraine, where Russia has nothing to do.โ€

According to Hoekstra, the plans are also unacceptable for the European Union and other allies. The UN Security Council has so far been unable to do anything, as Russia has the right of veto there as a permanent member.

‘False narrative’

Despite the fact that 141 countries have condemned Russia‘s actions, there remain countries that side with Russia. Hoekstra says: โ€œWe must ensure that these kinds of cases are condemned by as many countries as possible. Some of the company is nevertheless sensitive to the false Russian narrative. We also need to involve those countries, engage in as broad discussions as possible.โ€

In an impassioned speech to the General Assembly, French President Macron said that no country should stand on the sidelines of Russian aggression. He accused those who are now silent of being โ€œpartly guilty of new imperialismโ€ that tramples the current world order and makes peace impossible.

Earlier, UN chief executive Antonio Guterres had opened the meeting with an alarming message. โ€œThe world is in grave danger and is paralyzed,โ€ said the Portuguese.

Colossal global dysfunction

This is the first time in three years that world leaders have personally shook hands again after the pandemic, and that’s not a moment too early, according to Guterres. He stated that the international community is โ€œstuck in a colossal global dysfunctionโ€ and is unwilling to address the challenges of the moment.

Guterres painted the picture of a tense world, which is literally โ€œon fireโ€ with the climate crisis and where, with the war in Ukraine at the forefront, several fierce conflicts are being fought. He also cited the high inflation, the energy crisis and economic inequality in the world as worrying developments.

During his speech, he warned about the dangers of new technologies, even though they could also connect the world. But according to Guterres, social media platforms make money from anger, outrage, and negativity, selling data to influence user behavior.

โ€œDisinformation as a weapon of warโ€

This also includes spreading disinformation on the agenda this year. In New York, Minister Hoekstra, together with his fellow Canadian Foreign Minister, is working hard for closer cooperation to combat disinformation.

Hoekstra calls disinformation a weapon of war and refers to Russia: โ€œRussia is trying to deceive us and tell false stories about the war to ultimately discourage us from supporting Ukraine.โ€