Foreign Policy's Colum Lynch discusses how the fall of an aging generation of Middle East and African autocrats, swept from power by a wave of uprising, will impact this year's UN General Assembly.
How times have changed. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his top lieutenants have applauded the fall of an aging generation of Middle East and African autocrats, swept from power by a wave of uprising spurred by popular discontent. In the months leading up to this year's U.N. General Assembly which kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 21, Ban has openly encouraged NATO's military efforts to topple the likes of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi, and accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of reneging on his promise to halt military operations against unarmed demonstrators.
But in previous General Assembly sessions -- indeed as recently as last year -- U.N. officials and foreign dignitaries treated these very same leaders like diplomatic royalty, perhaps seeing them, wrongly, as bastions of stability in an otherwise unstable part of the world