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.
The Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing countries, is hitting back at New York City banks that arbitrarily cancelled the accounts of more than 70 overseas diplomatic missions, leaving ambassadors, senior and junior diplomats and non-diplomatic staff without banking facilities.
As the United Nations commemorated the International Day Against Nuclear Tests this week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lamented the fact that in a world threatened by some 17,000 nuclear weapons, not a single one has been destroyed so far.
Tarzie Vittachi, a renowned Sri Lankan newspaper editor and one-time deputy executive director of the U.N. children's agency UNICEF, once recounted the oft-quoted story of an African diplomat who sought his help to get coverage in the U.S. media for his prime minister's address to the General Assembly.
An international conference on small island developing states (SIDS), scheduled to take place in Samoa next week, will bypass a politically sensitive issue: a proposal to create a new category of "environmental refugees" fleeing tiny island nations threatened by rising seas.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a rare moment of political candour, lashed out at Israel last week, questioning its "respect for the principles of distinction and proportionality" - particularly in the context of the civilian death toll that kept rising to over 2,000 Palestinians, with more than 75 percent civilians.
As the dust - and the gunpowder - settles after the month-long devastating conflict in Gaza, there were apparently no victors or vanquished.
The world's 52 small island developing states (SIDS), some in danger of being wiped off the face of the earth because of sea-level rise triggered by climate change, will be the focus of an international conference in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa next month.
There is an age-old axiom in politics, says a cynical Asian diplomat, that you don't bite the hand that feeds you.
When world political leaders met at the United Nations back in 2005, they unanimously adopted a resolution affirming the principle of "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P), aimed primarily at safeguarding innocent civilians from war crimes, genocide, mass atrocities and ethnic cleansing.