When the UN Security Council met last week to discuss the deaths and devastation caused to civilians in ongoing military conflicts and civil wars, the killings in Yemen and the air attacks on hospitals, schools, mosques, and market places—whether deliberate or otherwise-- were singled out as the worst ever.
As it relentlessly pursues its strongly pro-Israeli policy – along with its disdain for multilateralism – the Trump administration continued to display its hostility towards the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies at a meeting of the UN Security Council focusing on the recent escalation of violence in Gaza.
The UN’s longstanding mandate to promote and protect human rights worldwide –- undermined recently by right-wing nationalist governments and authoritarian regimes – has taken another hit.
When the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) concluded a three-day forum on “Peace and Development” on May 16, the primary focus was the daunting challenges threatening global security, including growing military interventions, spreading humanitarian emergencies, forced migration, increasing civil wars, extreme weather conditions triggered by climate change and widespread poverty and conflict-related hunger.
The rise of right-wing nationalism and the proliferation of authoritarian governments have undermined human rights in several countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
The United Nations has estimated a hefty $466 billion as remittances from migrant workers worldwide in 2017—and perhaps even higher last year.
The United States dropped a political bombshell when President Donald Trump announced his administration would withdraw from the historic Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) which the former Obama administration signed in September 2013.
When US political leaders urged the Trump administration to either reduce or cut off arms supplies to Saudi Arabia – largely as a punishment for its indiscriminate bombings of civilians in the four-year old military conflict in Yemen—President Trump provided a predictable response: “If we don’t sell arms to Saudi Arabia, the Chinese and the Russians will.”
President Donald Trump’s decision to veto a bi-partisan Congressional resolution to end US military involvement in a devastating Saudi-led four-year conflict in Yemen-- is expected to escalate the ongoing war in the trouble-plagued region.
The civic space in several African countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, Sudan, Mozambique, Somalia and Eritrea, is gradually shrinking – and mostly under authoritarian leaders and repressive regimes.
A former UN Secretary-General, the late Kofi Annan, once described civil society organizations (CSOs), as “the world’s new superpower” – perhaps ranking behind the US and the former Soviet Union.
As it paves a destructive path against international institutions and multilateralism, the Trump administration is slowly but steadily undermining the United Nations and its affiliated agencies.
The Republic of China (Taiwan) withdrew from the United Nations in protest when it was ousted from its highly-prized permanent seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC) about 48 years ago.
Faced with an uneven battle against right wing nationalist governments, repressive regimes and extremist groups, scores of civil society organizations (CSOs) are gearing themselves to fight back.
The widespread political repression in countries such as the Philippines, Egypt and Saudi Arabia-- and rising right-wing nationalism in the US, Brazil, Italy, India, Poland and Hungary-- have increasingly triggered attacks on human rights and civil society organisations (CSOs).
The dramatic increase in women legislators voted into office last November and the historic high of women candidates for the 2020 presidential elections have visibly changed the male-dominated political landscape in the US.
The United Nations has vowed to eradicate extreme hunger and malnutrition on a self-imposed deadline of 2030.
But it is facing a harsh realty where human-induced climate change – including flash floods, droughts, heatwaves, typhoons and landslides-- is increasingly threatening agriculture, which also provides livelihoods for over 40 per cent of the global population.
When the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), based in Switzerland, released its annual report on the representation of women legislators worldwide, four of the top five countries were from the developing world.
Rwanda led the way with 61.3 percent of the seats held by women in its lower or single house of parliament followed by Cuba (53.2 percent), Bolivia (53.1 percent) and Mexico (48.2 percent).
The United Nations headquarters is in mourning – and the UN flag is at half mast.
The deaths of 21 UN staffers March 10, on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight in Addis Ababa, is one of the biggest tragedies in the extended UN family—with a flashback to the deaths of 22 people, mostly UN staffers, who lost their lives in the Canal Hotel bombing in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad in August 2003.
The Middle East, one of the world’s most politically-volatile and war-ravaged regions, has doubled its arms imports during the past five years, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The United Nations, which diligently monitors human rights violations worldwide, believes that centuries-old slavery still exists worldwide.