The current financial crisis, triggered as a result of withholding or delaying payment of assessed contributions by Member States, is nothing new to the United Nations.
The deadly coronavirus COVID-19, which has shut down the UN secretariat in New York, along with 32 of its agencies globally, has forced over 37,500 UN staffers worldwide to work from their homes.
President Donald Trump’s threat to abruptly cut all US funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) has been described as ‘reckless and deadly”—particularly at a time when the Geneva-based UN agency was engaged in an uphill battle against the spreading coronavirus.
The coronavirus pandemic has set off an unprecedented institutional crisis at the United Nations – funds are drying up, key meetings are cancelled and the world body is fighting for its future.
We have long speculated on the moment when the shift of global leadership from the United States to China would take place. From Washington to Beijing for the political power, from New York to Shanghai for the economic one. It seems that we are witnessing it now.
When US President Donald Trump repeatedly characterized the fast-spreading COVID-19 as a “Chinese virus” last week, it prompted some white supremacists to resurrect an age old ethnic slur against Chinese and East Asians: the “Yellow Peril” which, in a bygone era, was touted as a xenophobic threat to the Western world.
The devastating spread of the deadly coronavirus across every continent-- with the exception of Antarctica-- has triggered a conspiracy theory on social media: what if the virus was really a biological weapon?
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and coincidentally the tenth quinquennial (five yearly) review conference is scheduled to be held at the United Nations in New York from 27 April to 22 May.
As a growing public health crisis becomes increasingly urgent, prominent global actors and institutions, including the United Nations, are confronted by the realisation that all hands on deck are required to address the cross-cutting challenges faced by our world today.
First, it was the ill-fated annual sessions of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), scheduled for March 9-20, which was undermined by the spreading coronavirus COVID-19.
When President Saddam Hussein ran one of the world’s most authoritarian regimes in the militarily-volatile Middle East during 1979-2003, US newspapers routinely described him as “the strongman of Iraq” — as most journalists rightly view dictators worldwide.
75 years ago following the end of the Second World War and the first time any state has dropped an atomic bomb, not once, but twice, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 51 countries from all continents met to create the United Nations.
In the wake of the latest coronavirus outbreak, movie buffs are drawing an eerie parallel with the film Contagion, a 2011 thriller based on a lethal airborne virus called Nipah and how the world’s medical community battled to find a cure for the pandemic.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu was slapped corruption charges last week while he was hobnobbing with US President Donald Trump in Washington. Bibi has, apparently, done his homework in psychology. He knew the quickest way to get around Trump was to flatter him.
The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has described the much-ballyhooed US Middle East peace plan as “more like Swiss cheese-- with the cheese being offered to the Israelis and the holes to the Palestinians”.
Donald Trump, the vociferously unpredictable US president, has long chastised China for seeking “unfair” advantage over trade and tariffs, violating intellectual property rights and “manipulating” the country’s currency to its advantage.
Pat Buchanan, a senior advisor to three US Presidents and twice candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, once infamously described the United States Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory” -– apparently because of its unrelentingly blind support for the Jewish state.
Genesis smiles and holds her hand up proudly to answer questions in class. She claps her hands in support of her classmates when they answer the teachers’ questions correctly. “I miss my cousins and aunts in Venezuela, she says.” Her smile fades and her lips tighten. She struggles to hold back her tears. “I can’t return. I want to stay here in my school, with my new friends.” Her smile returns, as she resolutely states: “I want to become a lawyer, so I can help solve problems
When I think of the incredible challenges we must confront in the face of a changing climate, my mind focuses on young people. Eventually, they will be the ones either to enjoy the fruits or bear the burdens resulting from actions taken today.