Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation and President of the Security Council for the month of July, briefs reporters on the programme of work of the Security Council. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Russia Assumes the Presidency of the Security Council | Whither R2P? | Republicans Seek to Defund the UN

A new month means a new president of the UN Security Council. On July 1, Russia took the helm of the most powerful body in the United Nations system and announced that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would chair two Security Council meetings during Russia’s presidency. The problem is, Lavrov is under a travel ban and asset freeze by the United States for his actions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In our first segment, we discuss what happens when leaders under American sanctions come to the United Nations in New York? We also discuss Russia’s plans for its month-long presidency and why the credibility of the Security Council is not really impacted by Russia taking its turn at the helm.

Our second segment examines the diminished role that the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) plays in the UN system today. R2P was enshrined in the UN charter nearly 20 years ago as a way to confront genocide and mass atrocities, but its relevance has decreased ever since it was invoked to justify a Security Council-backed intervention in Libya. We discuss why that is and what’s next for R2P.

Our final segment examines newly passed legislation from a key committee in the United States House of Representatives that would nearly completely defund the United Nations. Republicans were not always so hostile to the UN, so what has changed? And what can we expect from Republicans in the future?

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