Seton Hall Graduate Degree in International Affairs
Seton Hall Graduate Degree in International Affairs

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The Oscars of International Politics: A #UNGA74 Recap


António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, and Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, at the VIP luncheon during the annual UN General Assembly opening session, Sept. 24, 2019. It was Merkel’s first time to the UNGA, as it is called, in four years and may be her last. EUROPANEWSWIRE/UNCA POOL

This year’s opening session of the United Nations General Assembly stood out for revealing the stark divide now defining international relations: the split between globalists and patriots.

On this week’s UN-Scripted podcast, PassBlue reporters Kacie Candela and Stéphanie Fillion look at the similarities in speeches at the high-level debates, between Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and America’s President Donald Trump; how Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan placed himself in the middle between globalists and patriots; and how a top globalist, Emmanuel Macron of France, tried unsuccessfully to bring the leaders of the United States and Iran together while they were in New York to talk over the nuclear deal.

[Update: After the podcast was recorded, in a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 26, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani cracked opened the door to further negotiations but only if Trump lifts sanctions against Iran.]

Boris Johnson, the prime minister of Britain, came to New York for only two days. What did he say in his late-night speech? He focused on technology’s disruption in the digital age. Was this topic a strategy to divert attention from Brexit and his recent Supreme Court loss at home?

PassBlue reporter Sonah Lee looks thoroughly at the accomplishments from the Climate Action Summit, including whether the anger of Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg convinced world leaders to act on global warming today rather than tomorrow.

And what nobody else did, mediawise: PassBlue journalist Laura E. Kirkpatrick tackles how many women stood out at this year’s UNGA (spoiler alert: not many) and notes that some men actually championed gender issues in their speeches moreso than women.

To hear the full episode of UNGA74, as the 74th General Assembly opening session is called, download PassBlue’s podcast, UN-Scripted, or go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, iTunes or Google Play. — STÉPHANIE FILLION and KACIE CANDELA with research by Brianna Lyman

We welcome your comments on this article.  What are your thoughts?

Stéphanie Fillion is a New York-based reporter specializing in foreign affairs and human rights who has been writing for PassBlue regularly for a year, including co-producing UN-Scripted, a new podcast series on global affairs through a UN lens. She has a master’s degree in journalism, politics and global affairs from Columbia University and a B.A. in political science from McGill University. Fillion was awarded a European Union in Canada Young Journalists fellowship in 2015 and was an editorial fellow for La Stampa in 2017. She speaks French, English and Italian.

Kacie Candela is an assistant editor for PassBlue and a news anchor and reporter with WFUV, a public radio station in the Bronx, N.Y., where she covers the UN and other beats. Her work has won various awards from the New York State Associated Press Association, New York State Broadcasters Association, PRNDI, and the Alliance for Women in Media.

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The Oscars of International Politics: A #UNGA74 Recap
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Seton Hall Graduate Degree in International Affairs


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