When the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) captured a treasure trove of U.S. weapons from fleeing Iraqi soldiers last month, one of the rebel leaders with a morbid sense of humour was quoted as saying rather sarcastically: "We hope the Americans would honour their agreements and service our helicopters."
The widespread outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, which has resulted in over 4,500 deaths so far, is also threatening to trigger a food crisis in the three countries already plagued by poverty and hunger.
After six weeks in office, the new U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein of Jordan launched a blistering attack on member states for insufficient funding, thereby forcing operations in his office to the breaking point "in a world that seems to be lurching from crisis to ever-more dangerous crisis."
When political leaders from climate-threatened Small Island Developing States (SIDS) addressed the U.N. General Assembly last month, there was one recurring theme: the urgent need to protect the high seas and preserve the world's marine biodiversity.
When the international pledging conference to rebuild a devastated Gaza ended in Cairo over the weekend - the third such conference in less than six years - the lingering question among donors was: is this the last of it or are there more assaults to come?
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month singled out what he described as "one of the greatest ironies of modern science": while humans are searching for life on other planets, the world's nuclear powers are retaining and modernising their weapons to destroy life on planet earth.
When the United Nations commemorated its first ever "international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons," the lingering question in the minds of most anti-nuclear activists was: are we anywhere closer to abolishing the deadly weapons or are we moving further and further away from their complete destruction?
When U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday, he was outspoken in his criticism of Russia for bullying Ukraine, Syria for its brutality towards its own people, and terrorists of all political stripes for the death and destruction plaguing Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.
On the sidelines of the U.N.'s heavily hyped Climate Summit, the newly-launched Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture announced plans to protect some 500 million farmers worldwide from climate change and "help achieve sustainable and equitable increases in agricultural productivity and incomes."
As the 69th session of the General Assembly took off with the usual political pageantry, the United Nations will be hosting as many as seven "high-level meetings", "summits" and "special sessions" compressed into a single week - the largest number in living memory.
The U.N.'s post-2015 development agenda has been described as the most far-reaching and comprehensive development-related endeavour ever undertaken by the world body.
When world political leaders arrive next week for the annual ritual of addressing the United Nations, they will be speaking inside a newly renovated General Assembly hall - part of a hefty 2.1-billion-dollar, seven-year refurbishing project - with an extended seating capacity for 204 member states, 11 more than the current 193.
The much-ballyhooed one-day Climate Summit next week is being hyped as one of the major political-environmental events at the United Nations this year.
The U.N. Security Council (UNSC), the only international body empowered to declare war and peace, continues to remain a silent witness to the widespread devastation and killings worldwide, including in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine.
After four long years of protracted negotiations, a proposal for a nuclear weapons-free zone (NWFZ) in the strife-torn Middle East remains in limbo - and perhaps virtually dead.