The United Nations will commemorate Human Rights Day next week amidst charges the world body is unilaterally proposing drastic changes to working conditions and salaries of staffers without due consultation - and in violation of their basic rights.
As the international community fleshes out a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be unveiled next year, civil society activists and U.N. officials agree their success will hinge on policies that address the nexus of poverty, hunger and environmental degradation.
The Arab world is widely perceived as blessed with an embarrassment of riches: an abundance of oil (Saudi Arabia), one of the world’s highest per capita incomes (Qatar), and home to the world's tallest luxury building (United Arab Emirates).
Saudi Arabia's unyielding opposition to last week's interim nuclear agreement with Iran has triggered speculation about its own projection of military power in the Middle East.
The multi-billion-dollar Middle East arms market - bolstered by hefty purchases by oil-blessed Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Qatar - has always been one of the biggest bonanzas to the U.S. defence industry.
The United Nations has a longstanding tradition of commemorating political milestones - like the abolition of the slave trade - or sustaining day-long vigils on controversial issues such as a ban on nuclear tests.
As U.N. peacekeeping operations assume a more agressive role in conflict zones, the first concrete results came last week when the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) defeated the M23 rebel group after a 20-month-long insurgency.
Threatened by rising seas, some of the world's small island developing states (SIDS) are demanding that the U.N.'s new set of Sustainable Development Goals place a high priority on the protection of oceans and marine resources.
Amidst a rise in sexual violence in the world’s war zones, the United Nations has begun appointing women to head some of the key political and peacekeeping missions in conflict areas - and also created Gender Advisers as a second line of defence.
Some 2,400 kilometres from New York City, where victims of Haiti's cholera epidemic are suing the United Nations in a U.S. federal court, the disease continues to burn through the populace with no end in sight.
When Saudi Arabia permitted women to vote but not drive, a newspaper cartoon last year captured the double standard with dark irony.
When the 193-member General Assembly adopts a resolution next month censuring the illegal electronic surveillance of governments and world leaders by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), the U.N.’s highest policy-making body will spare the United States from public condemnation despite its culpability in widespread wiretapping.
When Clare Short, Britain's former minister for international development, revealed that British intelligence agents had spied on former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan by bugging his office just before the disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the U.N. chief was furious that his discussions with world leaders had been compromised.
The tiger population in the rainforests of Sumatra is vanishing at a staggering rate, reducing the number of the endangered species to as few as 400, warns Greenpeace International.
When Saudi Arabia sought the presidency of the General Assembly in a bid for U.N. glory back in 1991, the oil-rich kingdom was facing Papua New Guinea in a race to head the highest policy-making body in the organisation.