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The UN is a busted flush

The UN building in New York. Sergi Reboredo/Getty

New York City is full of dignitaries from around the world this week, gathering for the United Nations General Assembly, says The Wall Street Journal. “The Lady Godiva question no one wants to ask is: Why?” In the emerging world order of “rogue regimes and multi-polar power centres”, what good does the UN do? The presidents of Russia, China and France and the prime minister of Britain didn’t even turn up. One person who did was the Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, who gave a “lecture about American perfidy”. In a show of their respect for the UN, the Iranian government expelled the organisation’s most experienced nuclear weapons inspectors the night before Raisi arrived.

At least Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky came, making a rare appearance in New York to “make the moral case for support” against Russia’s invasion. But the UN has been “worse than useless” during the Ukraine conflict – Russia’s veto on the Security Council has blocked any serious response to the Kremlin’s “marauding”. The one thing the UN has done, helping negotiate a deal to allow grain exports, has recently been nixed by Vladimir Putin. In reality, Zelensky’s visit was a “drop-by” en route to Washington, “where the real business of enforcing world order will take place”, as it has for decades. The multilateral dreams of the UN are increasingly irrelevant as China, Russia, Iran and others assert their power. “Liberal internationalists” might enjoy the odd knees-up, but the truth about today’s world order “lies in the rubble of Bakhmut”.