IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse

Mali must not Be a New Site for Clashes Between Global Powers

Last week, I was delighted to speak to the United Nations Security Council. In the ten years that my country has been experiencing conflict, violence, and instability, dozens of conferences and other international summits have been held without ever really making room for those who are mobilized on a daily basis for more social justice, the defense of human rights and achieving Malian peace.

As the Pandemic Devastates the Poor, the World’s 10 Richest Have Multiplied their Wealth into Trillions

The numbers are unbelievably staggering: the world’s 10 richest men more than doubled their fortunes from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion —at a rate of $15,000 per second or $1.3 billion a day, according to a new study from Oxfam International.

On Nuclear Weapons, Actions Belie Reassuring Words

On Jan. 3, the leaders of the five nuclear-armed members of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) issued a rare joint statement on preventing nuclear war in which they affirmed, for the first time, the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev maxim that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

Covid-19 Disrupts UN & Threatens Potential Cash Crisis in World Body

The 22-month-old coronavirus pandemic – which has claimed over 5.4 million lives worldwide, devastated economies and reduced an additional 100 million people to poverty—has also disrupted the work of a partially locked-down United Nations triggering a potential cash crisis in the world body.

The Straw that Broke Kazakhstan’s Back

The most violent protests of the past 30 years have erupted across Kazakhstan — exposing decades of inequality, injustice, and corruption. The protests of an unprecedented scale have rocked cities across Kazakhstan for days, as the population grew increasingly dissatisfied with the country’s leadership.

America Faces a Fateful Crossroad in 2022

When my assistant handed me copy expressing my greetings and good wishes for 2022 for approval, I paused, thinking, “is that all I can say, just hope for a better, brighter new year?”

When the Glass House by the East River Exploded in Laughter….

Created in 1945 following the devastation caused by World War II, the United Nations was mandated with the task of maintaining international peace and security as one of its primary political missions. But the seriousness of its far-reaching mandate has been tempered by occasional moments of levity which have rocked the “glass house by the east river” with laughter -- as recounted in a newly-released book on the United Nations titled “No Comment –and Don’t Quote me on That”.

Q&A: Femicides, Domestic Violence and Online Violence Have Been Exacerbated

"The level of injustice in the world cannot go on like this…I am not pessimistic about the future," said Gladys Acosta, president of the CEDAW Committee, in an interview with IPS in the Peruvian capital.

A Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone in the Middle East— & the Elephant in the Room

Israel’s nuclear presence in the Middle East is best characterized as “the elephant in the room” -– an obvious fact intentionally ignored with deafening silence.

Global Arms Industry Thrives Amid Worldwide Pandemic Devastation

The 21-month long pandemic, which began with the outbreak of the deadly corona virus back in March 2020, ravaged hundreds and thousands of businesses and industries resulting either in widespread losses, closures or bankruptcies.

Big Tobacco Industry Rides COVID-19 Pandemic as Countries Grapple for a Response

Almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries in the developing world continue to grapple with basic issues such as securing sufficient vaccines and providing essential medical care for their sick. Many economies are in recovery mode as governments scramble to resuscitate them with recovery packages and build back better plans.

Volunteerism: Central to the Creation of a New Social Contract

The International Volunteer Day, on December 5, is not just one of the many internationally observed days that the United Nations commemorates annually.

African Network Fosters Unity, Fights Gender Discrimination & Advances Sustainable Development

The widespread 21-month-old lockdown, triggered by the corona virus pandemic, had a destructive impact on the global economy, claimed over 5.2 million lives, destabilized governments and radically changed lifestyles worldwide.

Ethiopia’s Civil War Fueled by Weapons from UN’s Big Powers

In Hollywood movies, the legendary Wild West was routinely portrayed with gunslingers, lawmen and villains—resulting in the ultimate showdown between the “good guys and the bad guys”. Linda Thomson-Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council early this month that the warring parties in the devastating 12-month-long civil war in Ethiopia involve the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Eritrean Defense Forces, the Amhara Special Forces, and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front.

Glossing Over in Glasgow – Some Thoughts on COP26

A week has gone by since COP 26 with 197 Parties ended in the Scottish city of Glasgow on extended time last Saturday. Climate change which covers wide array of issues affecting all living beings engaged the people around the world for COP 26 in a way never experienced since COP1 was held in Berlin in 1995.

Why Covid-19 Misinformation Works

At the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro used his allotted time at the podium to recount his views on Covid-19. He extolled the virtues of treatments that have been rejected by scientists and proclaimed that he had benefitted from the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

Growing Digital Divide Threatens Recovery from Covid-19

A growing digital divide is emerging as a major threat to a robust recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Asian Staffers at UN Launch Network to Protect Rights & Fight Racism

The United Nations, which consists of 193 member states, has long been accused of discrimination against staffers who number over 315,000 and spread across 56 UN agencies and entities worldwide. But most of these are deeply rooted system-wide. A wide-ranging staff survey, both in New York and Geneva last year, revealed that discrimination was based either on race, religion, gender or nationality.

Glasgow Summit Ends Amidst Climate of Disappointment

Developing countries will surely remember the Glasgow climate summit, the most important since 2015, as a fiasco that left them as an afterthought. That was the prevailing sentiment among delegates from the developing South during the closing ceremony on the night of Saturday Nov. 13, one day after the scheduled end of the conference.

Social Movement Voices Fall on Deaf Ears of Governments at COP26

One element that runs through all social movement climate summits is their rejection of the official meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the low ambition of its outcomes - and the treaty's 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) was no exception.

Indigenous Peoples Want to Move Towards Clean Energy Sovereignty

In the community of Bella Bella on Turtle Island in the western Canadian province of British Columbia, the indigenous Heiltsuk people capture heat from the air through devices in 40 percent of their homes, in a plan aimed at sustainable energy sovereignty.

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