North America

“Big Reflection” Needed on Opioid Crisis

Opioids are among the most devastating drugs and are creating a crisis of epidemic proportions, said the UN drug agency.

UN Work Stoppage in Geneva Halts Human Rights Meeting

As UN staffers in Geneva threaten a strike, protesting a proposed salary cut of over 7.5 percent, a token two-hour “work stoppage” last week forced the Human Rights Council to suspend its meeting.

Negotiations in Miami Must not Treat Central American Asylum Seekers as Bargaining Chips

Today in Miami, the governments of US and Mexico are putting aside their well-publicized tensions of recent months and co-hosting a conference on security and governance in Central America´s Northern Triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, from where thousands of people flee extreme violence to seek asylum in the US and Mexico. 

How Peter Thiel Got His New Zealand Citizenship

In January, the revelation that Peter Thiel, the libertarian Silicon Valley venture capitalist and Trump adviser, secretly got a New Zealand citizenship six years ago caused an uproar, mostly because he was the first to get one without pledging to live there.

Mixed Reactions to U.S. Withdrawal from Climate Deal

The United States is expected to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate agreement, prompting mixed reactions from civil society and political representatives.

Proposed UN Pay Cuts Threaten Work Stoppage in Geneva

Facing significant reductions in US financial contributions from a politically-unpredictable Donald Trump administration, the UN Secretariat is gearing itself for a rash of austerity measures and budgetary cuts, including downsizing peacekeeping operations and cuts in development aid, reproductive health and overseas travel.

Gateway Portals and the Quest for Sustainable Urbanization

On a busy Friday afternoon, the number 1 subway train heading north through Manhattan’s Westside comes out of a dark tunnel --and if one takes a minute to release oneself from communication devices—one can catch sight of the approaching 125th street in the distance, the crosswalk buzzing with yellow cabs.

World to Cut Emissions With or Without Trump

In a last-ditch effort, Germany and China are trying to influence the United States not to walk away from the Paris climate change accord it signed along with 194 nations.

Trump’s First 100 Days: a Serious Cause for Concern

This week, Donald Trump will mark his first hundred days as US President.  It’s time to assess his impact on the world, especially the developing countries.

Bannon Down, Pentagon Up, Neocons In?

The apparent and surprisingly abrupt demise in Steve Bannon’s influence offers a major potential opening for neoconservatives, many of whom opposed Trump’s election precisely because of his association with Bannon and the “America Firsters,” to return to power after so many years of being relegated to the sidelines. Bannon’s decline suggest that he no longer wields the kind of veto power that prevented the nomination of Elliott Abrams as deputy secretary of state. Moreover, the administration’s ongoing failure to fill key posts at the undersecretary, assistant secretary, and deputy assistant secretary levels across the government’s foreign-policy apparatus provides a veritable cornucopia of opportunities for aspiring neocons who didn’t express their opposition to the Trump campaign too loudly.

Responding to US Budget Cuts for United Nations

It is in UN’s long-term interest to gradually reduce its dependence on US funding and undue influence, as proposed by former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme

Trump Marks the End of a Cycle

Let us stop debating what newly-elected US President Trump is doing or might do and look at him in terms of historical importance. Put simply, Trump marks the end of an American cycle!

Beware of the New US Protectionist Plan, the Border Adjustment Tax – Part 1

A new and deadly form of protectionism is being considered by Congress leaders and the President of the United States that could have devastating effect on the exports and investments of American trading partners, especially the developing countries.

US Threatens to Penalize Allies on UN Voting

The United States and most Western donors have traditionally exercised their financial clout to threaten developing nations who refuse to fall in line on critical UN voting either in the Security Council, the General Assembly or the Human Rights Council.

US, EU Food Standards Major Hurdle for Caribbean Exporters

As Caricom countries struggle to move away from their traditional reliance on a single industry or major crop in the face of growing economic uncertainty worldwide, they are finding it increasingly difficult to enter markets in the EU and North America with new types of food products.

US Trade Hawks and the China Bogey

New US President Donald Trump has long insisted that its major trading partners having been taking advantage of it. Changing these trade terms and conditions will thus be top priority for his administration, and central to overall Trump economic strategy to ‘Make America Great Again’.

The Trump Presidency: The First Week

Attacking the Affordable Care Act; the “global gag rule” against abortion; the federal regulation and hiring freeze; canceling the TPP; restarting the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline; limiting entry with the Mexican Wall; the 90-day travel ban on seven countries; more undocumented people prioritized for deportation; no federal funding for cities refusing to cooperate; communications blackout from federal agencies; Guantánamo torture continued–What does it add up to?

The US War on Muslim Refugees

The gloves are off. With today’s Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals,” President Donald J. Trump has declared war on Muslim refugees around the world.

Shocks for Developing Countries from President Trump’s First Days

His first days in office indicate that President Donald Trump intends to implement what he promised, with serious consequences for the future of the United Nations, trade, the environment and international cooperation, and developing countries will be most affected.

Who Will Rule Trump Foreign Policy?

The most frightening commentary I’ve read in the run-up to the inauguration—and there have been many—appeared in a column identifying the four people whose foreign policy ideas were likely to be most influential with the then-president-elect. It was written by The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin and entitled “Inside Trump’s Shadow National Security Council.”

Pacific Islanders Call for U.S. Solidarity on Climate Change

The new political power of business magnate Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated Jan. 20 as the 45th President of the United States, will have ramifications for every global region, including the Pacific Islands.

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