The ouster of Donald Trump from the US presidency last week may well be the dawn of a new era for multilateralism – and perhaps for a besieged United Nations— after nearly four years of misguided political rhetoric emerging from the White House.
To believe that Biden's triumph is the end of the drama that has unfolded since January 2016 is an example of a mirage with fatal consequences. Pretending that those more than 70 million voters who have followed Trump to the end will disappear from the map on January 20 with the inauguration of Biden and Harris reveals a blindness to how much America has changed in recent generations.
Kofi Annan’s Secretary-General-ship was a second honeymoon for the UN, coming six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall it was a moment of hope and alignment between the major powers of which he took ample advantage.
Let me begin with an appeal to our venerable friend, the UN: get down on the ground with the grandchildren. Just having celebrated its 75th birthday, we can hear your knees creak! The UN, for as long as I have known it up close- since its thirties- has often seemed prematurely old.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will become binding law for participating states on January 22, 2021. Entry into force was triggered on October 24, the date marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, when Honduras become the 50th state to ratify the TPNW, reaching the threshold set by the treaty.
Half a dozen US Christian right groups have poured millions of dollars into Latin America and have promoted misinformation about COVID-19 and other health and rights issues, openDemocracy can reveal today.
For Europe, the region closest by culture and political tradition to the United States, the mood of the day after the presidential election may be very different from that assumed a priori depending on the verdict.
Responding to a question, Albert Einstein, the German-born physicist who won the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics, predicted rather ominously: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
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.]
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.
Sporadic but spectacular acts of violence remind the global public of how deeply parts of Mexico have slid into lethal conflict over recent years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.