WASHINGTON (AP) — Entire countries are on lockdown, state visits canceled, travel curtailed, key meetings postponed or moved online. The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically altered international diplomacy. While the interruptions may seem to many like trivial inconveniences for a well-heeled jet set, they may have significant implications for matters of war and peace, arms control and human rights. Already the United States has canceled at least two leaders’ summits it planned to host this year and moved a Group of Seven foreign ministers online. As the global crisis threatens to alter the world balance of power, NATO’s top diplomats abandoned plans to meet in person this past week, the European Union has scaled back its schedule, a major international conference on climate change in Scotland was called off, and many lower-level U.N. gatherings have been scrapped entirely. If the pandemic isn’t brought under control by summer, it could jeopardize the diplomatic granddaddy of the post-World War II era, the annual high-level U.N. General Assembly meeting in virus-stricken New York, which this year is set to commemorate the organization’s 75th anniversary. The General Assembly may have only a fraction of the audience as an global sporting event like the already postponed… Read full this story
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