Brazil condemns 'paralysis' on Gaza, Ukraine at tense G20 meeting

Brazil criticized the "paralysis" of the U.N. Security Council on the wars in Gaza and Ukraine as it opened a G20 meeting Wednesday where the international community's deep divisions were on display.

The outlook is bleak for progress on the thorny agenda of conflicts and crises gripping the planet as foreign ministers from the world's biggest economies gather in Rio de Janeiro for the Group of 20's first high-level meeting of the year.

Opening the two-day meeting, which featured U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Brazil's top diplomat, Mauro Vieira, said the explosion of global conflicts shows international institutions like the United Nations are not working.

"Multilateral institutions are not properly equipped to deal with the current challenges, as has been demonstrated by the Security Council's unacceptable paralysis on the ongoing conflicts" in Gaza and Ukraine, Vieira said, adding the situation was costing "innocent lives."

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell for his part warned multilateralism "is in crisis."

The Security Council has failed to act on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, held in check by Russian veto power, and has struggled to find a response to the war in Gaza, with Israel's ally the United States using its veto to block calls for a ceasefire, most recently Tuesday.

Brazil, which took over the rotating G20 presidency from India in December, has voiced hopes the group could be a forum to make progress on such questions.

But that likely took a hit when Lula ignited a diplomatic firestorm Sunday by accusing Israel of "genocide," comparing its military campaign in the Gaza Strip to the Holocaust.

The comments drew outrage in Israel, which...

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