Crossing the rubicon

The October 26 meeting has created three new realities, which will produce a chain of effects in the weeks and months ahead.

We live in times when it is not easy to have international attention. Every continent is rife with one or more regional crises that demand the attention and energy of our Western allies. On the European Continent, the Russian invasion of Ukraine; in the Middle East, as if Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were not enough, now we also have the new conflict between Israel and Hamas; in Asia, the ongoing tensions between China and Taiwan, as well as North and South Korea; while in Africa we have fifteen active conflicts from Sudan and Mali to Niger and Burkina Faso. All of this has led even the usually-super-cautious United Nations to declare that "we are living in times of the highest number of violent conflicts since the end of World War II."

In this background it is very difficult to get international attention. The citizens of Nagorno-Karabakh and Sudan realized this recently. In front of the eyes of the world and within a few hours, Azerbaijan displaced 150.000 Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh. In Sudan, the resurgence of conflict this year left nearly 10.000 dead and more than 5 million displaced in what the United Nations described as “the worst humanitarian tragedy in modern history.” Neither development made international headlines for more than a day, and neither produced any serious international reaction beyond the standard diplomatic communiqués that called for restraint.