What’s missing at the U.N.
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What’s missing at the U.N.

Remarkably little has been written in the media leading up to today’s opening of the U.N. General Assembly, where leaders from nations around the globe gather in New York for official speeches and sideline meetings.

For once, Israel is not expected to be a major target of vilification; but neither is Iran, which poses the biggest threat not only to Israel but the world, as Dennis Ross and other top former diplomatic and security officials write in the Wall Street Journal.

Jewish groups appear to be leading the charge, starting with a rally today across from the United Nations protesting Iranian President Mahmoud Achmadinejad. The Jewish effort illustrates the tensions between not wanting to make it seem like the nuclear threat from Iran is a “Jewish/Israeli” issue and not wanting to idly stand by as the threat escalates.

In a meeting of foreign ministers on Friday, Russia and China reiterated their position that the United Nations should take no further action on sanctions.

Beyond Iran, it’s sadly ironic that the intended theme of this year’s General Assembly – global poverty – is being overshadowed by the financial crisis that is roiling the United States and the world.

As for President Bush, his address on Tuesday will mark his farewell speech to the world body.

By the way, if you want a primer on what the United Nations was originally intended to do, see this.