The United States has had a longstanding love-hate relationship with the United Nations ever since 1952 when the world body began operations in New York city on an 18-acre piece of land which housed an abattoir where cattle was being trucked daily for slaughter.
As he packs his bags to head home to South Korea, the outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been sharply critical of the decision-making process in the world body – specifically the veto powers in the Security Council and the increasing “consensus” rule in voting – where a single country can defy the rest of the 192 members, particularly on politically and financially sensitive issues.
Come 2017, the United Nations will mark the 50th anniversary of one of the world's longstanding unresolved political problems firmly entrenched on the UN agenda: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dating back to the Six Day War in June 1967.
The Vienna-based UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which commemorates its 50th anniversary this year, has continued to play a leading role in the industrialization of developing nations and economies in transition, since the UN agency’s creation in 1966.
At the height of the US Presidential campaign in early 2015, Republican nominee Donald Trump made a rash of public pronouncements -- some threatening internationally-agreed UN conventions-- which set off political reverberations throughout the United Nations.
When Antonio Guterres, the former Prime Minister of Portugal, takes office as the new UN Secretary General on January 1, his top management team is likely to be dominated by nominees from the five big powers, namely the US, Britain, France, China and Russia (P5).
When the UN Security Council last week discussed the “deliberate” attacks on medical facilities in war-ravaged Syria and Yemen, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon implicitly criticized some of the warring nations lamenting that “even a slaughterhouse is more humane” than the ongoing indiscriminate killings of civilians in the two devastating conflicts.
The Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation (PGTF), described as one of the most successful ventures of the Group of 77, has provided $13.2 million in “seed money” for 278 small-scale projects in developing countries.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, one of the strongest advocates of press freedom, is facing two politically-sensitive issues which are beyond his decision-making jurisdiction: a proposal for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) aimed at providing journalists with the right to access information, and the creation of a UN Special Envoy ensuring the safety of journalists worldwide.
As Ban Ki-moon readies to step down after completing his two term, 10-year tenure as UN Secretary-General on December 31
, he regrets that one of his biggest single disappointments is the “lack of progress on eliminating nuclear weapons.”
The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which was aimed at curbing the flow of small arms and light weapons to war zones and politically-repressive regimes, is being openly violated by some of the world’s arms suppliers, according to military analysts and human rights organizations.
As part of his nuclear legacy, US President Barack Obama is seeking a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution aimed at banning nuclear tests worldwide.
During the height of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, and particularly in the 1960s, the United Nations was the ideological battle ground where the Americans and the Soviets pummeled each other– metaphorically speaking — either on the floor of the cavernous General Assembly hall or at the horse-shoe table of the Security Council.
Despite Western opposition, the 134-member Group of 77 is continuing to pursue a longstanding proposal for an inter-governmental UN-affiliated tax body aimed at combating corporate tax dodging and curbing illicit financial flows, including money laundering and off-shore banking.
The UN Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF), whose current assets are estimated at over $54.2 billion, has no plans to “privatize” and is in “solid” financial health, according to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Fund Sergio Arvizu.
The Group of 77 (G77) has sustained a longstanding symbiotic relationship with Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency linked together by a single political commitment: promoting the interests of developing countries.
The Coordinating Committee for International Staff Unions and Associations of the UN system (CCISUA), which represents over 60,000 staffers worldwide, has expressed serious concern over the future of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund (UJSPF) which guarantees the economic survival of retirees.
A coalition of over 25 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has launched a global campaign to end a longstanding health and environmental hazard: the use of mercury in dentistry.
The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was launched last year with the aim of funding projects on a continent with some of the world’s most populous nations, has pledged over $500 million in four concessional loans to Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Tajikistan.
The much-ballyhooed British exit (Brexit) from the 28-member European Union (EU) is likely to have political ramifications at the United Nations – both in the short and the long term.
The United Nations claims it is doing its best to curb widespread sexual abuses in its peacekeeping operations overseas – from Haiti all the way to the Central African Republic.