When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was at Harvard University early this week to pick up the 'Humanitarian of the Year' award, his thoughts transcended the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the Austrian capital of Vienna which will be the venue of a key international conference on nuclear weapons next week.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has refused to jettison any of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by an Open Working Group of member states: goals aimed at launching the U.N.'s new post-2015 development agenda through 2030.
When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named an international panel to review peacekeeping operations last October, the announcement was greeted with bitter criticism because it lacked even a semblance of gender balance: only three out of 14 members were women.
A coalition of international organisations, led by INTERPOL and backed by the United Nations, is pursuing a growing new brand of criminals - primarily accused of serious environmental crimes - who have mostly escaped the long arm of the law.
Has the world reached a stage where nuclear weapons may be used as bargaining chips in international politics?
The United Nations, which is working on an emergency footing to battle the outbreak of Ebola, is worried about the potential for further isolation of the hardest-hit nations in West Africa.
Jayantha Dhanapala, a former U.N. under-secretary-general for disarmament affairs (1998-2003) and a relentless advocate for a world free of nuclear weapons, will be the recipient of the 2014 International Achievement Award for Nuclear Disarmament sponsored by Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency.
The continued widespread economic recession - aggravated by the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa - is threatening to undermine the U.N.'s highly-touted post-2015 development agenda.
Ongoing military conflicts in the strife-torn Middle East - specifically in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Palestine - have resulted in widespread civilian casualties, impacting heavily on the most vulnerable in besieged communities: women and children.
Can violence against women be prevented or eliminated with a new international treaty signed and ratified by the 193 member states of the United Nations?
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?