10 Hard Realities About the U.N. on Its Troubled 75th Anniversary

Metal barricades line the shuttered main entrance to the United Nations headquarters in New York, Sept. 18, 2020 (AP photo by Mary Altaffer).
Metal barricades line the shuttered main entrance to the United Nations headquarters in New York, Sept. 18, 2020 (AP photo by Mary Altaffer).
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The opening of the 75th United Nations General Assembly finds international cooperation in crisis and the U.N. in the crosshairs. Many critiques, especially from the United States, focus on the institution itself, as if it were somehow disembodied from the interests and policies of its major member states. The U.N.’s troubled anniversary is an opportune moment not only to reassess its strengths and weaknesses, but also to temper expectations of what multilateralism can possibly deliver when the U.N.’s leading members turn it into a geopolitical football—or are absent without leave. With these ends in mind, I offer the following 10 […]

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