As successive Human Development Reports have shown, most people in most countries are doing better in human development. Globalisation, advances in technology and higher incomes all hold promise for longer, healthier, more secure lives.
The overwhelming Israeli firepower unleashed on the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the ongoing battle in Gaza is perhaps reminiscent of the Algerian war of independence (1954-1962) when France, the colonial power, used its vastly superior military strength to strike back at the insurgents with brutal ferocity.
Heightening their campaign to eradicate violence against women and girls, United Nations agencies and civil groups have called for increased action to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.
As Tuesday’s major summits here and in London focused global attention on adolescent girls, the United Nations offered new data warning that more than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation, while more than 700 million women alive today were forced into marriage as children.
Despite making important strides in the first dozen years of its existence, the International Criminal Court (ICC) faces a daunting task if it hopes to create a reputation as a truly global institution.
As the civil war in Syria continues into its fourth year, the Western nations sitting on the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) have unsuccessfully tried to condemn the killings of civilians, impose punitive sanctions and accuse the Syrian government of war crimes - in four vetoed and failed resolutions.
"My cousin was a very successful and distinguished student. She said that she finished high school with excellent grades and enrolled in college, but a month later, her parents forced her to leave school and burned all her books and studying material. So, the girl set fire to herself."
The United Nations is on the verge of releasing a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - perhaps 17 or more - to replace the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which will run out by the end of 2015.
Even as aid workers are warning that children in South Sudan are falling victim to mass malnutrition, international agencies are said to be missing their fundraising goals to avert a looming famine in the country.
When the 15-member Security Council, the most powerful body at the United Nations, fails to resolve a military conflict, it invariably exercises one of its tried, and mostly failed, options: punish the warring parties by imposing punitive sanctions.
As the United Nations continues negotiations on a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for its post-2015 development agenda, population experts are hoping reproductive health will be given significant recognition in the final line-up of the goals later this year.
In Latin America, young people are the main link in the chain of poverty leading from one generation to the next. Civil society groups, academics and young people themselves say it is imperative to strengthen the connection between education today and decent employment tomorrow.
An African proverb says “a child that we refuse to build today will end up selling the house that we may build tomorrow.”
The 48 least developed countries (LDCs), described as the poorest of the world's poor, want to be an integral part of the U.N.'s post-2015 development agenda currently under discussion.