Global Geopolitics

COMMENTARY: The Sinatra Doctrine Confronts a Global Consensus

By late September, the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States had claimed 200,000 lives. That’s equivalent to a slightly higher toll than the 418,500 United States deaths in World War II, adjusted for relative population and duration. [See note below.]

UN Survives a World Turned Upside Down

As the United Nations plans to commemorate its annual UN Day, come October 24, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is presiding over a world body which has remained locked down since last March because of the spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Time to End the Lethal Limbo of the U.S.-Mexican Drug Wars

Sporadic but spectacular acts of violence remind the global public of how deeply parts of Mexico have slid into lethal conflict over recent years.

Does COVID-19 Imply an End to the Epoch of Science?

Around the 16th century there was a radical shift in the way humans perceived nature.  New thinking in physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics heralded a deeper understanding of the world around us.  Between the 17th and 18th century this new thinking had resulted in spate of technological inventions such as the steam engine, railways, electricity and the telephone.

The Wreckage Of Trump’s Presidency*

Like many Americans, I have been observing Trump’s rise to power with some perplexity, often asking myself how and why a man of his character became the President of the United States, which is viewed as the most powerful political office in the world.

World Peace is Not Only Possible But Inevitable

COVID-19 has shifted our world. Over the last six months, no matter where we live, our lives, assumptions, and relationships have changed. Now, more than ever, we have witnessed people from all backgrounds and all ages rise to assist each other.

Will COVID-19 Change the Global Balance of Power?

Lockdowns, social distancing, face-masks and other restrictions on personal and social behaviour have helped slow the progress of the COVID-19 virus. Enough to allow health systems to start catching their breath, for doctors to work out treatment protocols, and for work to start on a vaccine. There is now a need to take stock of the many other impacts the pandemic is likely to have, particularly at the economic and political level.

Staff to UN Management: Please Drop Your Plans for Uber-Style Contracts

As the United Nations prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary we have been made aware of an extremely worrying development concerning the future of UN staff contracts.

#TurnItAround: One Week to Mobilize for the Future

The year 2020 will most certainly mark a critical moment for the planet and future mobilizations. In a society shaken by Covid-19, people are gathering, regrouping and acting collectively for a sustainable world, an egalitarian future, and for global awareness on the climate emergency.

What UN Needs is a Cease-Fire Inside its own Security Council

With more than 20,000 civilians killed last year in conflicts in 10 countries — including Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen-- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated his call for a “global cease-fire”: a proposal which failed to generate a positive response since he first announced it last March.

The Future We Want, The UN We Need

As we reflect on this week and celebrate the United Nations’ rise in the war-ravaged world some 75 years ago, humanity is again being asked to lay the foundation for a new world.

Trump Pitched his Vision of a Global Order — at Odds with the UN Charter

President Trump took the UN stage to settle scores and shift blame as he sought to spin an alternate version of his administration’s response to the pandemic.

A Third World War – Which so Many Had Feared — Has Been Avoided, Says UN Chief

The ideals of the United Nations – peace, justice, equality and dignity — are beacons to a better world. But the Organization we celebrate today emerged only after immense suffering. It took two world wars, millions of deaths and the horrors of the Holocaust for world leaders to commit to international cooperation and the rule of law.

At 75, is the UN Still Fit for Purpose?

This September, New Yorkers will be a lot less annoyed. They’ve been spared the annual disruptions from road closures, sirens and movement of security forces accompanying world leaders who attend the UN General Assembly. By largely moving online due to COVID-19, the world’s most significant gathering will be missing some of its excitement even as the UN celebrates an important 75th anniversary in 2020.

Will Trump Threaten to Pullout or De-fund the United Nations?

Back in 1998, Senator Jesse Helms, a rightwing Republican from the US state of North Carolina, carried out a virulent one-man hate-campaign against the UN-- and its very presence in New York.

TikTok, Trump and the Need for a Digital Non-Aligned Movement

Recent weeks have seen a dramatic escalation in the U.S.’ stance towards tech companies from the People's Republic of China (PRC). After hounding the telecommunications company Huawei for years, the social networking app TikTok is the latest Chinese company to enter the firing line.

The First “Virtual” Post-Pandemic UN General Assembly Meeting

Although we have not convened in this Hall since March, New York-based delegations have worked tirelessly to uphold the values and principles set out in the Charter of the United Nations, whilst contending with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Racism at the UN: Practice What You Preach

When two recent staff surveys, one in Geneva and the other in New York, revealed widespread racism at the United Nations, it triggered the obvious question: why shouldn’t the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) probe these charges?

Staff Surveys Reveal Widespread Racism at the United Nations

As it continues to vociferously preach the virtues of equality—advocating equal rights for all, irrespective of race, sex, language or religion-- the United Nations has been quick to condemn racism and racial discrimination worldwide.

Beating Anger into Empathy: the Need of the Hour in Ethiopia

The murder of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, an icon of the Oromo people in Ethiopia was a tragic loss for all who struggle for rights in systems that fail to accommodate them.

If Trump Delivers His Last Hurrah to an Empty United Nations, Will it Still Make a Sound?

There is no love lost between the United Nations and US President Donald Trump. When he addressed the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly in September 2018, Trump falsely told delegates that "in less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country"

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