Seventy-five years ago, on July 16, the United States detonated the world’s first nuclear weapons test explosion in the New Mexican desert. Just three weeks later, U.S. Air Force B-29 bombers executed surprise atomic bomb attacks on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing at least 214,000 people by the end of 1945, and injuring untold thousands more who died in the years afterward.
Being the sole candidate from the Asia Pacific region for the non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), India was elected by 184 votes in the 193-member United Nations’ General Assembly. on June 17, 2020.
Seventy-five years ago, on 26 June 1945, before the Japanese surrender ending the Second World War, fifty nations gathered at San Francisco’s Opera House to sign the United Nations (UN) Charter
Racism is not only an American problem but a plague that people of African descent have had to endure since time immemorial.
Rather than seizing this historic moment to act decisively, the United Nations, the world’s highest platform for human rights, dithered on the issue when it was called on to establish a full commission of inquiry on race following the outrageous killing of George Floyd on May 25 2020.
While the coronavirus does not discriminate, its impact does. And the needs of survivors of sexual violence in conflict "cannot be put on pause, and neither can the response” during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons—estimated at over 13,400 at the beginning of 2020 – have a least one thing in common with humans: they are “retired” when they reach old age.
The combination of rife insecurity, food insecurity and more than 7.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance has left the Sahel a region in crisis, with the global coronavirus pandemic expected to exacerbate the situation.
In these difficult times for the Palestinian people and for justice, the Government of Israel is proposing to add further to the turmoil by unilaterally absorbing large swathes of the Palestinian West Bank of the Jordan River. It might therefore be fitting to remind the world of the chronology of the events leading up to the creation of the State of Israel in May 1948.
Indonesia’s founding President Sukarno delivered his annual Independence or National Day address on 17 August 1964 anticipating the forthcoming year as Tahun vivere pericoloso
, the ‘year of living dangerously’. 2020 may well be the world’s turn, and not only due to the obvious Covid-19 threat to the world.
On February 26 this year, 15 South Sudanese children were released from armed groups and handed over to civilian child protection actors, including UNICEF and UNMISS, UN’s peacekeeping operation in South Sudan, who were able to facilitate the children’s safe return to their families.
Despite all the preoccupation with the current raging pandemic, it sadly appears that there has been no let-up in the global arms race among the major powers. In mid-May, the United States President Donald Trump, at an event for his new Space Force at the White House made a significant announcement, It was that the US was building right now an “incredible” new missile which would travel faster than any other in the world “by a factor of almost three”. This was obviously a response to the latest Russian ‘Avangard’ missile, which Russian President Vladimir Putin claims in invincible, with a speed of twenty times that of sound. The Chinese, reportedly are also feverishly working on their own hypersonic counterparts. All these would be strategic tools to significantly alter the war-fighting capabilities of humanity in the future.
Consider this. 24 women, children and babies were murdered at a hospital in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Even by standards of a country as accustomed to bloodshed as Afghanistan, the May 12 attack on a Kabul maternity clinic was an event of unmitigated horror
Hunger and food insecurity continue to rise. The official 2019 statistics refer to 821 million people suffering from hunger all over the world. According the recently launched Global Report on Food Crises
, there are further 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. WFP
estimates that due to the impacts of COVID19, additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. This means a total increase of 265 million people. If there will be no appropriate and urgent actions, “we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months
”, said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, addressing the UN Security Council on 21st April.
Earlier this year, just before the coronavirus virtually shut down international travel, I sat under a mesquite tree and listened to a rambling speech by a South Sudanese general at a military base outside of the capital, Juba.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we estimated that 75 million children and youth - of whom 39 million are girls - were not able to access a quality education in countries impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and climate change-induced emergencies. The impact of COVID-19 has both globally and exponentially deepened the already existing critical education crisis.
After six weeks of negotiations, the United States shot down hopes for a resolution to be approved in the United Nations Security Council on May 8, refusing to back worldwide cease-fires as the US continues to castigate China and the World Health Organization for the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, momentum behind tenuous cease-fires is vanishing, experts say.
The world commemorated the 75th Anniversary to mark the end of the 2nd World War also called VE Day on 08 May 2020.
With her nation, and much of the world still in lockdown due to COVID 19, England’s Queen marked 75 years since the allied victory in Europe with a poignant televised address. From Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth said, “the wartime generation knew that the best way to honour those who did not come back from the war, was to ensure that it didn’t happen again”.
Even during this pandemic, perhaps especially during this pandemic, the global institutions to help prevent the spread of biological and chemical weapons to proliferators or terrorists must continue their work.
China and India, which went to war back in 1962 largely over a disputed Himalayan border-- and continue a longstanding battle for military supremacy in Asia-- have set a new record in arms spending.