UNGA77, NATO Military Chiefs Convene, U.S. Inflation, and More

World leaders gather for the seventy-seventh session of the UN General Assembly; NATO’s senior military authority meets in Estonia to discuss the war in Ukraine; and the U.S. Federal Reserve plans another interest rate hike to combat inflation. 

September 15, 2022 — 30:34 min
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Hosts

James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair Full Bio

Robert McMahon

Managing Editor Full Bio

Show Notes

Mentioned on the Podcast

 

Richard Haass, “Ukraine’s Coming Winter of Decision,” Project Syndicate

 

James M. Lindsay, “Ukraine’s Counteroffensive, With Max Boot,” The President’s Inbox


James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon, “Secretary Blinken Visits Mexico, Sweden’s Election, Big Power Summitry in Uzbekistan, and More,” The World Next Week

 

David Scheffer, “Survival Governance at the UN General Assembly,” CFR.org

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Transcript

Bob McMahon: (00:02)
In the coming week, the UN General Assembly's high level debates begin in New York, a NATO military Chiefs of Defense conference begins in Estonia and U.S. Officials, intensify inflation fighting effort. It's September 15th and time for The World Next Week. I'm Bob McMahon.

Jim Lindsay: (00:28)
And I'm Jim Lindsay. Bob, last week the seventy-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly opened. As the UN's most representative body, the assembly, also called UNGA, holds general debates on the world's most pressing issues. This year, the debates will likely focus on climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's war in Ukraine. What else might be happening during these UNGA debates, Bob?

Bob McMahon: (00:53)
Well, Jim, there's a UN jargon-y title for the theme of this year's UNGA, which is A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges.

Jim Lindsay: (01:03)
When is that never a theme of UNGA discussions, Bob?

Bob McMahon: (01:07)
True. And it's not the kind of wording that gets the pulses running necessarily, but certainly we should look at deeds rather than words in many cases, although the high level debate in the UN sometimes gets pretty heated. So I guess it's a little bit of both. But no shortage of challenges, the perennial ones, and then just things feel a lot tougher at this particular time of the UN debate, Jim. As you mentioned, we still have the COVID pandemic, although a little ray of light there, WHO officials announced that levels of fatalities due to COVID are down to what they were in March of 2020, which is when the pandemic was declared. It doesn't mean it's over yet, but it means trend lines are better there. Climate change front, we've all just been talking about the latest round of extreme once-in-a-lifetime climactic events, or once in a millennium or whatever. Climate change is getting on everybody's agenda seemingly more and more, Jim.

Jim Lindsay: (02:02)
We're facing a new normal.

Bob McMahon: (02:03)
We're facing a new normal. And then Russia's war in Ukraine and all the impacts that that has had, we've discussed them many times, whether it's food or geopolitical tensions, nuclear arms control worries, you can name a dozen at the drop of a hat. They're all up for debate and are expected to get debate in various ways at the UN. The formal agenda has a number of focal points. And one of them is that since we're at roughly the halfway point of what's known as the SDGs or the sustainable development goals, that's going to be something that permeates discussions this year. Because there's seventeen of them and they touch on all aspects of life. It's what our colleague David Scheffer is calling a survival agenda coming forth at the UN, in terms of laying out benchmarks that need to be hit for everything from making sure there's proper food and sanitation, but also increasingly pointing to the causes of extreme climate events, and as well as peace and security issues and non-proliferation and so forth. So we're going to see the term SDGs mentioned quite a bit. There are commitments that are supposed to be hit by 2030. The multiple whammies have set that back. COVID one of them, the Russian invasion of Ukraine another one, and various other events such as extreme climate events. Certainly Pakistan is going to be woefully behind in its commitments as it tries to emerge from a massive flooding that has been widely reported to put almost 30% of the country underwater. So there's the sustainable development goals, Jim. There is going to be a special session on transforming education. The UN Security Council, it should be noted, typically has some high profile events in that first week, which is the week ahead, the first week of the high level debate, because you have heads of state, heads of government, foreign ministers, attending for many countries. They come into the Security Council, which is under the presidency of France this month, and they have a number of big issues. A big one that I believe it's still on the agenda is a discussion of the Ukraine conflict. So that could be quite lively in terms of where things stand there. And we've had a great deal of discussions on Ukraine. Our sister podcast, The President's Inbox, you just had a big discussion with Max Boot about where things stand with the Ukrainian counter offensive that took place last weekend. So look for Ukraine to come up as well as at the annual speeches at the UN podium-

Jim Lindsay: (04:19)
Well let's talk about those speeches, Bob, because that's what really draws attention to the opening of the UN General Assembly. First off, are we expecting President Biden to come to New York to give a speech and if so, what might he say?

Bob McMahon: (04:31)
I believe we are, Jim. First of all, as host nation it's a rarity when the U.S. President does not come. President Trump famously came to the podium and called out the world for what he saw as taking the wrongful approach and saying countries should lean more on their national priorities rather than bundling all their concerns at some sort of multilateral forum. But President Biden came back last year and spoke more of an internationalist approach and laid out the U.S. markers for being more involved in the UN. He's gotten the U.S. more involved in the climate negotiations, for example, on UN Human Rights Council and so forth. So we should expect him to take advantage of this opportunity to come and lay out markers for action on a whole host of fronts. Ukraine, for example. I'm sure there will be comments there about human rights. His administration has talked about democracy. There's concern about where the U.S. stands on a whole host of issues. But I think a lot of countries will be looking to President Biden to give a new sense of how he sees the priorities and what kind of heft the U.S. is going to put behind UN initiatives, because the U.S. is still a large, if not the largest, funder of many UN programs.

Jim Lindsay: (05:38)
Any other prominent world leaders expected to show up in New York to give speeches, Bob?

Bob McMahon: (05:43)
There seems to be a pattern in which a number of world leaders will go to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the day before the UNGA high debate begins. So September 19th, and then come over across the Atlantic to speak in New York. One of them is the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who will be up for election in just a few weeks and is generating a lot of attention lately. So that's going to be a closely watched speech. He by the way, under a standard UN practice, is the first speaker before President Biden. Brazil speaks first and then President Biden will speak and then a whole host of other leaders. I think we can expect, I believe French president Macron will be coming because of France's presidency at the Security Council. Not clear about other leaders of Security Council countries, especially the permanent five. I don't think we're going to see Presidents Putin or Xi Jinping, for example, presidents of Russia and China.

Jim Lindsay: (06:31)
That would be quite a surprise if they touched down in the United States for the meeting of UNGA.

Bob McMahon: (06:35)
No, it would be. It's something that they do not, by practice, go to. They're meeting actually, as we speak, in Uzbekistan under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, which we spoke about last week, Jim. And so we should also note under the multilateral schedule later this year at the Group of Twenty meeting, they are supposed to be there as well as President Biden. So that might be a summit to watch. But for the high level debate, I think there would be a smattering of the most powerful leaders and then a lot of foreign ministers representing countries.

Jim Lindsay: (07:03)
Will some world leaders be attending the meeting virtually, Bob? I know with COVID-19, the normal run of the mill set of speeches at the UN General Assembly were pushed to the side. I think to the delight of many New Yorkers because fewer high level dignitaries coming to New York means much easier traffic flows. But I'm not really sure whether we're continuing the virtual component of UNGA.

Bob McMahon: (07:26)
It's going to be much more dialed down. I think they're trying to get back to more of an in-person feel, but restricted formats so that there's still not, let's say, the more crowded events of the past are going to be less common and they are going to be in this COVID or potentially soon to be post-COVID situation, mindful of close quarters. And also I would imagine you'd still see a good deal of masking going on in the main UN hall as the speeches take effect. Although that is something we're also seeing tapering as you look across the spectrum at the global events occurring. So a little bit more business as usual. And then unfortunately that probably means tough to cross Manhattan on a typical day the next two weeks. Otherwise, what that does also, as we talked about in past, Jim, is it opens up the opportunity for the sideline event or meeting between and among countries that sometimes even a little bit unscheduled or a little bit unscripted, which can sometimes be fruitful.

Jim Lindsay: (08:19)
Oh, certainly, Bob. I know for American presidents, when they come up to New York, the media focuses on what they say when they are before the UN General Assembly. But for American officials, what is often much more important, are those bilateral meetings that you're having with other world leaders on the sidelines of the meeting. And an awful lot of time and effort goes in scripting what the president is going to say or not say, what the president's going to ask or not ask, when he meets with other world leaders. I assume that will be the case with President Biden when he comes to New York next week.

Bob McMahon: (08:50)
I think so as well, Jim. And then there's always, I'm not sure how many of the colorful exchanges we've had in the past will take place this year, but you can think about some that have occurred over the last couple of decades. I recall the unexpected drive by handshake of Fidel Castro and Bill Clinton, I believe took place at the UN General Assembly high level debate. And then there was also the spectacle of Libyan leader Gaddafi in a tent complex setup impromptu with his close aides during his time at the UN General Assembly, where he spoke for at least 90 minutes, I believe. Hugo Chávez, of course, also had a memorable ...

Jim Lindsay: (09:25)
Sulfur, I believe, was the word he invoked.

Bob McMahon: (09:27)
Followed U.S. President George W. Bush, and talked about a smell of sulfur in the air and got a rise out of some of the audience. Jim, I'm going to take us across the Atlantic, though, to the Baltics. Tomorrow NATO's military committee will meet in Tallinn, Estonia. And on the agenda the chiefs of defense from each of the member states are going to discuss military strategic development and also the diversity in the allied armed forces, digital transformational, a whole host of nuts and bolts issues. We're at day 200 or so of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, not far away from where this meeting's taking place. We're going to have, it looks like the candidate representation from Sweden and Finland at this conference. So how should we approach what this conference might mean?

Jim Lindsay: (10:08)
Well Bob, I suspect that much of the talk at the conference is going to be focused on two topics. One is enacting NATO's new strategic concept, which was agreed upon back at the Madrid summit in June. And the second topic obviously is going to be Ukraine. We'll dive into those in a second, but first let me just say that the military committee is formerly the primary body responsible for recommending defense measures for NATO countries in NATO territory. It advises the North Atlantic Council. It is comprised of senior military officials from all NATO member countries who serve as their country's permanent military representatives on the committee. Now, again, back in June NATO countries came together in Madrid, agreed on this new strategic concept, which states NATO's core tasks as deterrents and defense crisis prevention in management and cooperative security. And of course that summit took place in the shadow of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And I suspect that there's going to be a great deal of discussion among the military chiefs about steps that each individual country has been taking in terms of beefing up their own defenses. It's going to be a lot of discussion about improving cooperation, interoperability among the various militaries. And I suspect that the second topic, obviously Ukraine, is going to consume an awful lot of the conversation. As you mentioned a moment ago, Bob, the Ukrainians launched a counter offensive, both in the northeast of the country and in the south and southeast of the country. The counteroffensive in the northeast has been remarkably successful. The Ukrainians have taken back more territory in the last two weeks that the Russians gained from the beginning of the war. And so the real question now is, is the fighting going to continue? How will it continue? Issues dealing with resupply of the Ukrainians. As you know, the United States and other NATO countries have been providing the Ukrainian military with substantial amounts of materiel. Also some significant training. So I think there's going to be a fair amount of conversation about that. And speculation about where this war is going. The conventional wisdom seems to be that Ukraine and Russia have six, maybe eight weeks of fighting left before winter comes. Again, the assumption is that once winter comes weather conditions will make it difficult to be able to continue high level, high intensity battle engagements, that things will settle down to some degree as both sides prepare for potential spring offenses. So we'll see what will happen on that score. But that's what I would imagine would be the topic of conversation as a military chiefs meet.

Bob McMahon: (12:53)
Jim, do we know whether Ukrainian officials in any capacity have been invited to this meeting?

Jim Lindsay: (12:57)
I'm not aware that they have been, Bob. Which doesn't mean that they haven't been, but I haven't seen any discussion of that. I think most of the conversation about Ukraine is focused on what is happening in the Eastern portion of Ukraine. And particularly President Zelensky's surprise visit to, I believe it was Izium, which is a city retaken from the Russians over the last week. And I think if you look at Ukraine, the Ukrainian sentiment is that the war has turned in their favor. I actually like the way that Richard Haass, our boss, framed it in a, he wrote for Project Syndicate, which is that the war in Ukraine has reached a turn, but not necessarily a turning point. And again, the fact that the counteroffensive has gone very well for the Ukrainians early on doesn't mean that it will continue to go with the speed or rapidity that it has in the first week to 10 days. By all accounts, the fighting in the south and southeast of Ukraine has been much tougher because that is where the Russian military had anticipated the counter offense. In some extent, withdrew troops from the northeast to the south and southeast, because that's where they expected the main Ukrainian counteroffensive to come from. Ukrainians essentially use it as an opportunity to strike hard in the northeast of the country. And again, as you know, when you're looking at the progress of any battle, any series of battles, warfare much depends not just on what kinds of men and materiel you have on the ground, but things like your supply lines, logistical chains, and also issues related to morale. Does an army dig in and fight or does it break and run? And as we've seen, perhaps most infamously in Afghanistan, armies can break and run in a very short order. And so I think what a lot of people are asking for or wondering about is what is the morale in the Russian military? How well are they going to fight in the face of this Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south and southeast? It's pretty clear that they did not fight terribly well in the northeast.

Bob McMahon: (14:59)
Yeah, and their initial response seems to be to go after Ukrainian infrastructure and not so much battlefield responses, but hammering key civilian things like dams and railroads and power centers and such.

Jim Lindsay: (15:11)
That's a very good point to flag, Bob, because the Russians have, over the course of this war, attacked civilian targets. And there is a fear that the Russians will escalate or counter by attacking more and more civilian sites in Ukraine, particularly going after infrastructure. Make it as hard as possible on the Ukrainians. And again, what you have to mix into all of this is the coming of winter. It's going to be particularly cold in Ukraine. And if you have disrupted infrastructure, water, electricity, roads, bridges, it's going to mean some very, very hard times for the people of eastern Ukraine. People near or around where the fighting is taking place.

Bob McMahon: (15:52)
Not to mention Europe's largest nuclear power plant going offline. So not delivering energy, but also being a source of safety concern in its own right.

Jim Lindsay: (16:01)
Certainly, Bob. But I think from the vantage point of the Ukrainians, with the war going well for them right now and the expectation is it's going to continue to go well for them as long as a so-called fighting season lasts, that has really bulked up and boosted morale among Ukrainians. And now you have talk about whether or when Ukrainian military forces are going to be able to reclaim Crimea. Remember Crimea was annex seized by the Russians illegally back in 2014, and Ukrainians have been very vocal that they see the end of this war as having to result in basically reunifying Crimea with the rest of Ukraine. They want all of Ukrainian territory restored to Ukrainian sovereignty. And it's unlikely to happen between now and the end of the year. And the big question is when we get to whatever the pause might be before winter comes, what the line of battle, line of control, will be. And then there will be a lot of talk about what fighting might look like when it resumes in the spring. There's very little to suggest that given these reverses, that President Putin is about to change his mind on pursuing this war. I think the big question is going to be how do the Russians counter? Do we see a full mobilization of the country in the war? And I will note that to the extent we can detect it, the criticism of Putin in Russia is not coming from people who want Putin to end the war in Ukraine. It's from people who are critical that he has not brought the full weight of Russian military power down the Ukrainians. Certainly the ultra nationalists have been the most vocal in criticizing the military performance of Russia.

Bob McMahon: (17:48)
Yeah, even the sense of Russia being a laughingstock in the way its military has handled itself. That's all well and good in some quarters, but it also is a dangerous moment, I think.

Jim Lindsay: (17:58)
Bob, let's shift gears, both in geography and topic, and talk about interest rates in the U.S. economy. The Federal Reserve has signaled that it is set to raise interest rates yet again. And it's doing so in a bid to tame inflation. Inflation numbers came in this week and were, I think, surprisingly high. So what do you make of the Fed's decision and its consequences for the U.S. economy?

Bob McMahon: (18:24)
Yeah, we're in a heightened moment of inflation concern and we're seeing it reflected not only in what the Fed has signaled, Jim, but in the way markets are behaving. The plummeting markets earlier this week included the Dow at its lowest level, I think, since early in the COVID-19 days of spring 2020. Because the inflation figures were a surprise. It's 0.1%. Who knew it could cause such a ripple, but in fact they would not expect to be a climb in prices. And that means that from July to August the inflation level went up to 8.3%, an annualized rate. And that's at a time when gas prices were coming down. The Biden administration was feeling confident about a number of areas. And now there's this inflation concern. And it's areas like housing and healthcare, but really across the board, Jim. Certainly everybody is noticing it in the food prices, even in the United States, which obviously grows and raises a lot of its own food. And so the Fed has already put out the markers about rising interest rates three quarters of a point. And we've just seen reports this morning of mortgage rates up to 6%. These are figures that, I believe, double just a year ago what they were and are at a level that not seen since around 2008. So the country's entering into a different chapter. And it is because there is a great deal of concern about a recession coming. A number of economists are saying it's really a question of whether it's a soft or a hard recession at this point. Not whether there will be one. A few others still say that it's not set in stone. But it's a concern because the recessions on their own are not pleasant experiences to go through. They're especially not pleasant for the party in power. In this case, the Democrats running into a midterm election period where they were seeming to gain some momentum against Republicans. It still remains unclear whether there will be a change in one or both Houses of Congress from Democrat to Republican, Jim. But it just intensifies the campaigning over this issue, over the stewardship of the Biden administration and the economy, among other things. And on top of it all, I'll just add the administration that worked strenuously to head off a freight rail strike. And as we went to tape this podcast, Jim, it looked like there was a tentative deal that was going to avert a rail strike. That would've been further antagonizing. All of these trend lines certainly would not have helped inflation. It was estimated that a railroad work stoppage would cost the U.S. economy $2 billion per day in output and all sorts of maneuverings to try to get more trucks on the road at a time when they are already stretched, for example. And so-

Jim Lindsay: (20:48)
It would've disrupted supply chains even more than they already had been by COVID and lots of other factors.

Bob McMahon: (20:52)
Exactly. The supply chain, the painstaking supply chain structure that had been starting to be regularized to some degree, was in severe threat because of the amount of freight that is carried on U.S. freight lines. It's a lot. And not to mention the commuter lines. Amtrak had already been canceling long haul trips on its various cross country routes. While those are not central in any way to the economy, it's just another sign of disruption. And again, the type of things that the Biden administration does not want to see. Also, I should just note, Jim, because we want to be sensitive to the fact the deal has not been completely ironclad socked away, there was all sorts of sensitive freight and hazmat cargo that are delivered by freight rails that people aren't even aware of, including chlorine used by public water departments to purify drinking water. That's the thing that would get people's attention rapidly if you started to see major disruptions in that. So again, a really important moment that the administration worked well into the night to try to get a deal. And multiple cabinet secretaries have been involved in this process. We'll see if this actually comes to fruition. But then there's just the normal humdrum inflation fighting that will continue to intensify as well, next week and beyond.

Jim Lindsay: (22:02)
Bob, do we know why inflation is remaining high running at 8%, 9%? We've seen gasoline prices, which were high in the spring, come down. But other prices haven't, even in the face of the interest rate hikes that the Fed has already imposed.

Bob McMahon: (22:16)
Yeah. I mean, that's the huge question, Jim. You're right, gas has come down. I mean, if you just look in the DC area at the local pumps, it's quite dramatic from what it was going into the summer, by a matter of almost $2 at some of the gas stations that I usually go by. Inflation's obviously a very tricky area. The Fed is supposed to be the steward on this. And a number of people have said the Fed was too slow in noting the trend lines that were building and coming into this year, and had made a lot of money available in the economy to help fight COVID among other things. And prior to that, the quantitative easing strategy continued to provide liquidity so forth and boost the economy. All of that had seemed to have driven these month after month of growth in the stock markets and so forth. Well, that was going to have to be reigned in at some point and it needed to be done earlier, according to a number of economists. And then you have COVID on top of it, which was going to be tough to combat no matter what policy it took. We should also note this a worldwide phenomenon also intensified, and depending on what sector you're talking about, by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Part of this is the energy scene, the drying up of Russian sources because of all the sanctions levied on Russia by western countries, for example, shrinks the amount of supply available in western markets. There is food disruption. Russia and Ukraine together, huge suppliers of the world's grains. And then global supply chain issues that you talked about, Jim, were affected heavily by COVID. Ports that were slowing down massively under the COVID restraints. All of these things were having various impacts and the supply chain issue is one that was still working itself out. Pointing to semiconductors as one area. Those are still coming back into the flow of things. These are semiconductors that are created, many of them in Taiwan and other factories in Asia, but go through all sorts of steps across the world. A supply chain that truly spans the world, Jim. Before a car is delivered to a dealership in let's say, eastern United States, there are many steps that have to happen. That has not sorted itself out. And so it's the new vehicles, for example. It is used cars and trucks. It is, as I said, medical services. Things like clothes. All these areas that affect people. And I think it was a real warning shot the figures that came out earlier this week, and we're going to learn a lot more about it as the Fed prepares to act and as other ripple effects take hold.

Jim Lindsay: (24:43)
I think these supply chain disruptions and high levels of inflation going to be with us for a while yet, Bob.

Bob McMahon: (24:48)
I think so too, Jim. I think we're going to start hearing about other approaches to supply chains. There's a term that keeps on cropping up called friend shoring, which I think we'll hear a lot more of, which is changing around the globalization process that we have seen over decades. But that's for another podcast, Jim. Why don't we pivot to our audience figure of the week. And that's where listeners can vote on or tweet us at CFR_ORG. This week, Jim, our audience selected 49 dead in Karabakh. I believe that number has been updated, but at the time of the polling, that was the figure. What does that signify, Jim?

Jim Lindsay: (25:21)
Well, Bob, our audience is referring to the resumption of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over in Nagorno-Karabakh. That's an Armenian-dominated enclave, totally within the borders of Azerbaijan. It has been a source of tension and conflict going back to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The first Nagorno-Karabakh war saw about 20,000 people killed, and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. During that fighting, which took place in the early 1990s, the Armenians gained the upper hand by the time a ceasefire was finally negotiated in 1994. The tensions remained essentially frozen for almost two decades until fighting erupted once again two years ago this month. The second round of fighting began with Azerbaijani forces launching an offensive. They made very effective use of Turkish drones and were able to gain the upper hand before another ceasefire was struck after six weeks. Nearly 7,000 people were killed over that month and a half of fighting. And the Armenians came in on the side of the Azerbaijanis for a variety of reasons, or at least a variety of reasons have been suggested, including historical enmity toward Armenia, the fact that the Azeris were fellow Muslims, and a desire by Ankara to counter Russian influence in the region. Now, the fighting resumed again earlier this week. Armenian and Azerbaijan blamed each other for breaking the ceasefire. Armenian officials said initially that 49 of their soldiers had been killed in the first day of fighting. Azeri officials countered by saying that 50 Azeris had been killed in the first day. Now, as we're sitting down to record this podcast, news is that a tentative ceasefire has been struck. Russia brokered it. And now looks like the death toll stands somewhere around 200. We don't know how long the ceasefire might last for or what it actually entails. But I think a lot of the speculation is now turned to why did fighting break out right now? Who initiated it? I think some of the early analysis suggest the Azeris did, and that leads to questions as to why they struck now. One of the explanations being offered is that these Azeris are taking advantage of the fact that Russia, which historically had closer ties with Armenia, has been distracted by the success of the Ukrainian military offensive, thereby giving the Azeris some freedom to operateI don't know whether that's true or not. Again, I think we just have a lot of uncertainty about what has actually happened on the ground. But experts in the region I think are going to be pouring through this in the weeks and months to come.

Bob McMahon: (28:03)
Yeah, Jim, I do think there's some credence to that theory about why the Azeris might have been the ones instigating this, given that Russia played such a major role in getting the 2020 conflict wrapped up, enforced, and was in a different position pre-invasion of Ukraine than now. As we referred to previously, its forces are strapped. It's under pressure from some quarters to call for a general draft. And it's been calling in units from places like Kaliningrad and Tajikistan by many reports. And not sure it's got a robust presence to bring as a peacekeeper in this part of the Caucuses at this juncture. And unfortunately given the enmity between the two sides and really what's at stake, they both pit this as a civilizational conflict. It's makes you wonder who else, if anybody or country is capable of stepping in and brokering or at least imposing some sort of a peace.

Jim Lindsay: (28:55)
I think you're right, Bob. And I think, at this point, the best outcome we can hope for is a ceasefire that holds and leads to a frozen conflict. The conditions right now do not seem ripe for diplomacy that is going to lead to a long term settling of the differences between these Azeris and the Armenians.

Bob McMahon: (29:13)
And that's our look at the world next week. Here are some other stories to keep an eye on. As mentioned the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II is held in London and ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, holds its international general meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Jim Lindsay: (29:28)
Please subscribe to The World Next Week on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And leave us a review while you're at it. We love the feedback. The articles, books and podcasts mentioned in this episode, as well as a transcript of our conversation, can be found on the podcast page for The World Next Week on cfr.org. Please note that opinions expressed in The World Next Week are solely those of the hosts or our guests, not of CFR, which takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. Today's program was produced by Ester Fang, with senior podcast producer Gabrielle Sierra. Ester Fang also edited this episode. Special thanks to Rafaela Siewert, Margaret Gach and Sinet Adous. This is the last episode of The World Next Week that Rafaela will be working on. And Bob and I want to say thank you to Rafaela for all her great work and helping us. This is Jim Lindsay saying so long.

Bob McMahon: (30:22)
And this is Bob McMahon saying goodbye and be careful out there.

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A Moscow court considers the case of Marina Ovsyannikova, a Russian reporter who protested the invasion of Ukraine; China celebrates the ninety-fifth anniversary of ...

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Pope Francis travels to Canada seeking forgiveness from Indigenous communities for Catholic Church abuses; President Volodymyr Zelensky must respond to a petition fo...

Pope Francis travels to Canada seeking forgiveness from Indigenous communities for Catholic Church abuses; President Volodymyr Zelensky must respond to a petition fo...

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Protesters in Sri Lanka storm government buildings as the president flees; Russia declares an “operational pause” in its invasion of Ukraine; the Farnborough Airshow...

Protesters in Sri Lanka storm government buildings as the president flees; Russia declares an “operational pause” in its invasion of Ukraine; the Farnborough Airshow...

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Top Stories on CFR

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Congolese government is letting energy firms bid for access to its vast oil and gas reserves, raising concerns about the potential climate consequences.

Taiwan

President Biden's comment on Taiwan independence is a break from his predecessors.

Iran

The death of Mahsa Amini has sparked large-scale protests in Iran. But President Raisi’s speech at the UN General Assembly signals that the regime is not likely to soften its stance toward the Iranian people nor toward the West.