Editor’s note: This is a special Friday edition of Diplomatic Fallout. Steven Metz will return with Strategic Horizons next week.
If you want to understand United Nations diplomacy, it helps to think of the institution as a sort of high-level anger management class. The U.N. may be a place for states to work together on common problems, but it is also a venue for governments to get cross with one another without causing too much damage.
There are few easier ways for diplomats to postpone serious discussions of a contentious issue than passing a U.N. General Assembly resolution about it. The assembly annually condemns the U.S. embargo on Cuba, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and the legacy of colonialism in pro forma resolutions.