Ongoing tensions serve as backdrop for UN meeting

The United Nations General Assembly will open as world faces rising tensions in Asia and an ongoing global financial crisis. Many of those issues, however, will not be discussed by President Barack Obama, who is set to address unrest in the Muslim world, killing of American foreign service officers.

The meeting is certain to draw a contrast between how freedom of speech is viewed and promoted in the Middle East and in Western democracies.

While the United Nations has faced daunting challenges in several areas, one in which the body has enjoyed some success is combating global poverty. A renewed push to address the issue is being launched by the United Nations Foundation.

As diplomats gather in New York, some foreign policy experts are trying to decipher why is China is seemingly prepared to risk war over a small group of islands in the South China Sea.

In a related development, Japan filed a protest against Taiwan following an open-sea confrontation in the South China Sea near islands that are the focus of a dispute between China and Japan. The islands, which Japan calls the Senkaku and China calls the Diaoyu.

Global Financial System
International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde is again voicing concern about the lack of growth in global markets. Lagarde’s remarks focused on the political, rather than the economic, risks which could occur if nations do not face fiscal reality.



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