The 193-member UN General Assembly has been dragging its feet on a proposal that has been kicked around the corridors of the United Nations for over 10 years: a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) providing journalists the “right to information” in a sprawling bureaucracy protective of its turf.
The UN’s post-2015 development agenda, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), includes the elimination of extreme hunger by 2030.
While the international community remains intensely pre-occupied with the six-year-old civil war ravaging Syria, the ongoing military conflict in Yemen has triggered a relatively neglected humanitarian crises threatening to explode.
The United States has had a longstanding love-hate relationship with the United Nations ever since 1952 when the world body began operations in New York city on an 18-acre piece of land which housed an abattoir where cattle was being trucked daily for slaughter.
As he packs his bags to head home to South Korea, the outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been sharply critical of the decision-making process in the world body – specifically the veto powers in the Security Council and the increasing “consensus” rule in voting – where a single country can defy the rest of the 192 members, particularly on politically and financially sensitive issues.
Come 2017, the United Nations will mark the 50th anniversary of one of the world's longstanding unresolved political problems firmly entrenched on the UN agenda: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dating back to the Six Day War in June 1967.
The Vienna-based UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which commemorates its 50th anniversary this year, has continued to play a leading role in the industrialization of developing nations and economies in transition, since the UN agency’s creation in 1966.
At the height of the US Presidential campaign in early 2015, Republican nominee Donald Trump made a rash of public pronouncements -- some threatening internationally-agreed UN conventions-- which set off political reverberations throughout the United Nations.
When Antonio Guterres, the former Prime Minister of Portugal, takes office as the new UN Secretary General on January 1, his top management team is likely to be dominated by nominees from the five big powers, namely the US, Britain, France, China and Russia (P5).
When the UN Security Council last week discussed the “deliberate” attacks on medical facilities in war-ravaged Syria and Yemen, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon implicitly criticized some of the warring nations lamenting that “even a slaughterhouse is more humane” than the ongoing indiscriminate killings of civilians in the two devastating conflicts.
The Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation (PGTF), described as one of the most successful ventures of the Group of 77, has provided $13.2 million in “seed money” for 278 small-scale projects in developing countries.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, one of the strongest advocates of press freedom, is facing two politically-sensitive issues which are beyond his decision-making jurisdiction: a proposal for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) aimed at providing journalists with the right to access information, and the creation of a UN Special Envoy ensuring the safety of journalists worldwide.
As Ban Ki-moon readies to step down after completing his two term, 10-year tenure as UN Secretary-General on December 31
, he regrets that one of his biggest single disappointments is the “lack of progress on eliminating nuclear weapons.”
The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which was aimed at curbing the flow of small arms and light weapons to war zones and politically-repressive regimes, is being openly violated by some of the world’s arms suppliers, according to military analysts and human rights organizations.
As part of his nuclear legacy, US President Barack Obama is seeking a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution aimed at banning nuclear tests worldwide.