Despite last year’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the proliferation of conventional weapons, both legally and illegally, continues to help fuel military conflicts in several countries in the Middle East and Africa, including Syria, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.
As tens of thousands of refugees continue to flee conflict-ridden countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, Western European governments and international humanitarian organisations are struggling to cope with a snowballing humanitarian crisis threatening to explode.
Back in 1996, when South Korea voluntarily quit the 132-member Group of 77 (G77) – described as the largest single coalition of developing nations -- it joined the 34-member Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), long known as the “rich man’s club” based in Paris.
The staggering statistics emerging from the ongoing five-year-old military conflict in Syria – including over 220,000 killed, more than one million injured and about 7.6 million displaced – are prompting calls for a United Nations arms embargo on the beleaguered regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
The U.N. Security Council (UNSC), whose primary mandate is the maintenance of international peace and security, has occasionally digressed to discuss global issues such as climate change and HIV/AIDS.
The United States is providing a thinly-veiled cover virtually legitimising the use of cluster bombs – banned by an international convention – by Saudi Arabia and its allies in their heavy fighting against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The rising death toll of civilians, specifically women and children, in ongoing military conflicts is generating strong messages of condemnation from international institutions and human rights organisations – with the United Nations remaining helpless as killings keep multiplying.
The United Nations is commemorating World Humanitarian Day with “inspiring” human interest stories of survival – even as the world body describes the current refugee crisis as the worst for almost a quarter of a century.
As hackers continue to rampage through closely-guarded information systems and databases with monotonous regularity, there is a tempting new target for cyber-attacks: the world’s nuclear facilities.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stopped short of telling one his high-ranking Special Representatives: “You’re fired.”
The tiny island of Kiribati in the Central Pacific, with a population of about 103,000, has long been identified as one of the U.N. member states threatened with physical extinction due to sea-level rise triggered largely by climate change.
The United Nations is planning to launch a global campaign against the spread of intolerance, extremism, racism and xenophobia -- largely by harnessing the talents of the younger generation.
As part of a politically-amusing annual ritual, the guessing game is on at the United Nations: will he, or will he not, address the General Assembly, along with more than 150 heads of state who are due in New York next month?
Speaking at a commemoration of the 70th
anniversary of the atomic bombings of Japan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a vociferous advocate of nuclear disarmament, echoed the rallying cry worldwide: “No more Hiroshimas, No more Nagasakis.”
When the United Nations seeks outside financial assistance either for development needs or to advocate social causes, it invariably turns to the private sector these days.