Global Geopolitics

UN Chief Warns of Deadly Germs as Potential Bioterrorist Weapons

The coronavirus—which has claimed the lives of over 538,000 people and infected more than 11.6 million worldwide—has destabilized virtually every facet of human life ever since its outbreak in late December.

Security Council’s Overdue COVID-19 Ceasefire Resolution Must Put Women & Youth at Center

More than three months after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made an urgent appeal for a global ceasefire in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Security Council has finally passed a resolution supporting his call.

The Missing SDG: Ensure the Digital Age Supports People, Planet, Prosperity & Peace

As the nations of the world prepare to gather virtually to assess progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), society is just beginning to imagine what a post-COVID world might be like.

Nuclear Testing, Never Again

Seventy-five years ago, on July 16, the United States detonated the world’s first nuclear weapons test explosion in the New Mexican desert. Just three weeks later, U.S. Air Force B-29 bombers executed surprise atomic bomb attacks on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing at least 214,000 people by the end of 1945, and injuring untold thousands more who died in the years afterward.

Cover-up at the UN: You Scratch My Back & I’ll Scratch Yours

The ongoing battle between China and the United States is threatening to paralyze the most powerful body at the United Nations – the 15-member Security Council (UNSC)—which has virtually gone MIA (missing in action) on some of the key politically-sensitive issues of the day.

India’s Test along the Line of Actual Control

Being the sole candidate from the Asia Pacific region for the non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), India was elected by 184 votes in the 193-member United Nations’ General Assembly. on June 17, 2020.

The US & the UN — A Looming Confrontation

The recent approach of the US to the UN and its agencies has left many shaking their heads. The US, under President Roosevelt, played a seminal role in creating the UN and its key agencies after World War II and subsequently nurturing them.

Reopening from the Great Lockdown: Uneven and Uncertain Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed economies into a Great Lockdown, which helped contain the virus and save lives, but also triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression. Over 75 percent of countries are now reopening at the same time as the pandemic is intensifying in many emerging market and developing economies. Several countries have started to recover. However, in the absence of a medical solution, the strength of the recovery is highly uncertain and the impact on sectors and countries uneven.

Message to Ostracized World Leaders: You Don’t Need a US Visa to Address the UN

The coronavirus pandemic is beginning to transform the United Nations into an institution far beyond recognition. The Secretariat building has been shut down since mid-March, and the UN campus will continue to remain a ghost town through end July-- and perhaps beyond-- with nearly 3,000 staffers, delegates and journalists working, mostly from home.

Sanctions, Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Will Lead to Humanitarian Catastrophe

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread across the world. Although the numbers of infections and deaths vary between countries, they are increasing dramatically in some places, threatening people's health as well as the basis of their economic and social lives.

When Old Age Catches Up, Even Nuclear Weapons Go into Retirement

The world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons—estimated at over 13,400 at the beginning of 2020 – have a least one thing in common with humans: they are “retired” when they reach old age.

A Single Seven Year Term for the UN Secretary General?

Many UN supporters expressed disappointment that Secretary General Antonio Guterres said almost nothing, until last week, about police violence against African-Americans in the United States, or about the massive protest movement that has erupted and the repressive response to the protests by US authorities and police forces.

UN Chiefs Silenced by Big Powers with Vetoes

The massive protests in more than 120 US cities over racial injustice and police brutality went global last week-- amidst presidential threats of military force on demonstrators in Washington DC.

High Volatility

Six months after the outbreak, the new global scenario resulting from the impact of COVID-19 is gradually becoming much more defined. From the very beginning, we sensed that little good could result from a situation so surprising and unexpected. Now it is becoming increasingly clear that we are entering times of extreme volatility in the international sphere. Times of uncertainty and incandescence as we have not seen for years.

As COVID-19 Burns, World’s Forgotten Wars Continue to take Toll on Civilians as Well

Earlier this year, just before the coronavirus virtually shut down international travel, I sat under a mesquite tree and listened to a rambling speech by a South Sudanese general at a military base outside of the capital, Juba.

Will UN Chief & Senior Management Volunteer Pay Cuts in Crisis-Stricken World Body?

As a spiraling financial crisis threatens to undermine the UN’s day-to-day operations worldwide, a proposal being kicked around, outside the empty corridors of the UN, has triggered the question: will senior officials, including the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General (DSG), Under-Secretaries-Generals (USGs), including 60 heads of UN agencies, Funds and Programs, and Assistant Secretaries-Generals (ASGs), volunteer to take salary cuts— even as a symbolic gesture?

Africa Needs a DOVE Fund: Or Should We Starve So We Can Pay our Debts?

Sub-Saharan Africa has a debt problem. According to the most recent World Bank debt statistics, in 2018 the region had about $493 billion in long term external debt.

Beyond Trump— US, UN & Global Health Governance

US President Donald Trump’s battle with the World Health Organization (WHO) hides two important issues. One, the long running love-hate relationship between the US and the UN, and two, a better understanding of how global public health is governed and in the overall context of global governance.

The UN Is Hunting for a New Medical Director, Based in New York City

“Are you a senior medical executive with expertise in healthcare management with oversight of clinical services and occupational health at a facility, state, national or international level? The United Nations Secretariat is seeking a Medical Director at the D-2 level in the Department of Operational Support,” an ad posting on the UN’s job portal reads.

US Pulls the Plug on a UN Global Cease-Fire Resolution

After six weeks of negotiations, the United States shot down hopes for a resolution to be approved in the United Nations Security Council on May 8, refusing to back worldwide cease-fires as the US continues to castigate China and the World Health Organization for the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, momentum behind tenuous cease-fires is vanishing, experts say.

COVID-19 Pandemic Vulnerable to Exploitation by Proliferators, Terrorists & Criminals

Even during this pandemic, perhaps especially during this pandemic, the global institutions to help prevent the spread of biological and chemical weapons to proliferators or terrorists must continue their work.

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