IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse

Israel, Hamas Set to Escape War Crimes Charges

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a rare moment of political candour, lashed out at Israel last week, questioning its "respect for the principles of distinction and proportionality" - particularly in the context of the civilian death toll that kept rising to over 2,000 Palestinians, with more than 75 percent civilians.

OPINION: International Relations, the U.N. and Inter Press Service

In 1979, I had a debate at the United Nations with the late Stan Swinton, then the very powerful and brilliant director of Associated Press (AP). At one point, I furnished the following figures (which had been slow to change), as an example of Western bias in the media:

OPINION: Violations of International Law Denigrate U.N.

The United Nations was founded “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights.

Stab in the Back for Painful Afghanistan Election Process?

A knife fight late Tuesday among several auditors at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) still inspecting the results of the presidential elections held in mid-June could be the stab in the back for what has been a painful election process.

TNT and Scrap Metal Eviscerate Syria’s Industrial Capital

Numerous mechanics, tyre and car body shops used to line the busy streets near the Old City of Syria’s previous industrial and commercial hub.

Island States to Rally Donors at Samoa Meet

Amid accelerating climate change and other challenges, a major international conference in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa next month represents a key chance for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean to turn the tide.

U.N. Prepares for Overhaul of Arms Trade Reporting

The Arms Trade Treaty is about to provide the biggest shake-up to conventional arms trade transparency since the end of the Cold War.

Abuse of Older Women Overlooked and Underreported

A veteran women's rights activist, Patricia Brownell was still taken aback by the prevalence of abuse against older women she discovered during dozens of conversations she and her colleagues had with victims.

No Victors or Vanquished in Brutal Gaza Conflict

As the dust - and the gunpowder - settles after the month-long devastating conflict in Gaza, there were apparently no victors or vanquished.

Putting the Littlest Disaster Victims on the Caribbean’s Climate Agenda

Children are often the forgotten ones when policy-makers map out strategies to deal with climate change, even as they are least capable of fending for themselves in times of trouble.

Swamped by Rising Seas, Small Islands Seek a Lifeline

The world's 52 small island developing states (SIDS), some in danger of being wiped off the face of the earth because of sea-level rise triggered by climate change, will be the focus of an international conference in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa next month.

OPINION: Happy Birthday “UNO-City” – UN’s Vienna Headquarters Marks 35th Anniversary

Austrians call it “UNO-City”. The United Nations calls it the Vienna International Centre (VIC). Both names give a hint of the scale and scope of the U.N’s headquarters in the Austrian capital, but not the full story.

Israel Bites Hand that Feeds, U.S. Feeds Hand that Bites

There is an age-old axiom in politics, says a cynical Asian diplomat, that you don't bite the hand that feeds you.

OPINION: For Nigerian Girls, Education Is the Key That Opens Doors to Progress

I grew up in Nigeria, in a culture where bearing a son validates a woman and her family, and a male innately holds the superior position in society over a female. At 11 years of age, I escorted my mother to deliver her fifth baby girl, my youngest sister, and watched our mom die in the hands of an unfit doctor.

U.N.’s “Responsibility to Protect” Another Casualty in Gaza

When world political leaders met at the United Nations back in 2005, they unanimously adopted a resolution affirming the principle of "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P), aimed primarily at safeguarding innocent civilians from war crimes, genocide, mass atrocities and ethnic cleansing.

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