The coronavirus pandemic has affected the world massively and its impact is already being felt at the local, regional and international levels in multifarious ways. International diplomacy is one area that is at the centre of the whole phenomenon, and we have seen this phenomenon at this year’s annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. Traditionally, the spectacles at the UNGA unfold in grand and scripted fashion: Leader after leaders striding to the podium inside the colossal UNGA chamber to uncork carefully calibrated speeches, posture publicly and speak the language of statecraft. And each year, in the hallways of the United Nations and the hotels that surround it, intensive doses of more intimate, more genuine diplomacy take place in quiet conversations, in small bilateral meetings, in one-on-one huddles that gestate subtle understanding and, sometimes, even prevent wars.
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