Flying Flags and Flowing Words

Turning 40, the U.N. braces for a pride of potentates

It has been billed as the largest gathering of world leaders in history. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the United Nations, heads of state or government have begun to descend on New York City; at least 90 will have called before the end of October. They may or may not further the cause of world peace in a forum that has failed to live up to its impossibly dreamy promise as arbiter of global disputes. But the assembled dignitaries will surely provide a rich spectacle of diplomatic pomp and a torrent of high- minded rhetoric, not to mention traffic jams...

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