September 21, 2016

The UNGA Could Use A Drinking Game

It was a red letter day at the United Nations General Assembly, where most of the event’s top headliners came to the stage. For those unfamiliar, UNGA is basically a Coachella for diplomats: a music festival where they champion progressivism but still make fun of the hippies.  For us non-diplomats, however, these talks can get a bit dry, which is why we devised a UNGA drinking game. We could have alternatively called it “diplomacy jargon bingo” but you get the idea. Here’s a quick recap of what you missed today:

  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon used his farewell address to get a few things off his chest. Namely, the “sickening, savage and apparently deliberate attack” on UN convoys in Syria this week. He described the bombers at “cowards” but paused to honor the deceased aid workers in Syria as heroes.
  • US President Barack Obama delivered his last ever address to the assembly. Reflecting on his previous work, he said that America had been “a force for good” in the world. Whether the audience agreed or not, Obama wowed the crowd in his special session on refugees, where he pledged to open US doors to 110,000 refugees in 2017.
  • Making her UNGA debut, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK would begin the process of ratifying the Paris Agreement. Although this is a huge win for the Paris Agreement and could help ensure its effectiveness, May still received criticism for her discussion on refugees. Most notably, the new PM felt she needed to make a distinction between economic migrants and refugees fleeing war, as though one were more deserving of British security than the other. 

In A Nutshell: What is the Paris Agreement anyway?

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: