We have arrived at the point of no return. At this very moment the world is witnessing the highest level of humanitarian needs since World War Two. We are experiencing a human catastrophe on a titanic scale: 125 million in dire need of assistance, over 60 million people forcibly displaced, and 218 million people affected by disasters each year for the past two decades.
“The objective of extremists is for us to turn on each other [and] our unity is the ultimate rebuke for that bankrupt strategy.”
Thanks to tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, major oil producers couldn’t come to an agreement in Doha to freeze their output to January levels to raise oil prices. The current low oil prices have a lot to do with the grim outlook for global economic growth while supply is growing. China, the second largest economy in the world, is slowing down. Not surprisingly, global oil demand is much lower at 94.8 million barrels a day vis-à-vis supply of 96.3 million barrels a day in the first quarter of 2016 according to the International Energy Agency.
Regardless of whether they are called fragile, failed, or failing states, scores of countries around the globe are plagued by overwhelming problems with few solutions in sight. Moreover, the instability and dire straits of these countries are spilling across national borders, destabilizing neighboring countries and regions, while posing enormous challenges for international organizations and donors.
At the invitation of President Obama, on April 1 more than 50 leaders of countries, including all countries possessing nuclear arsenals, except Russia and North Korea, gathered in Washington for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit.
When some of the world’s major nuclear powers meet in Washington DC next Friday, they will be shadowed by the rising terrorist attacks-- largely in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
After a decade of bilateral tension, the presidents of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, and the United States, Barack Obama, resumed the friendship between the two countries, which could lead to a free trade treaty and a “universal” alliance.
While the United Nations marked this year’s World Water Day on March 22 focusing on the connection between water and jobs, a new report has rung loud alarm bells about the heavy impact of corruption on the massive investments being made in the water sector.
The German language is truly underappreciated. Talce `Drachenfatter` for example: translating as `dragon fodder` this is the gift one gives as a peace offering to an angry partner or spouse. Then there`s `Schadenfreude` which means: `pleasure derived from another person`s misfortune` There`s a lot of that going around these days, with careful statistical research showing that global schadenfreude levels peak whenever Donald Trump opens his mouth.
About 2.1 billion people are regarded as overweight or obese today, or almost thirty per cent of the world’s population. With over 800 million people estimated to be chronically hungry in the world, it appears that the number of overweight is more than 2.5 times the number of undernourished.
In the safety of his sister's bare flat in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, 42 year-old Iyad Yusef still shakes his head in disbelief when he recounts the journey that from war-torn Syria, brought him and his family to the relative safety of the blockaded strip.
Prema Bai, 58, bends her head and pushes hard her wheelchair on the village road. In the early afternoon, the village of Mamna appears almost deserted although it is home to 742 families and is located in Uttar Pradesh - India’s largest and most populated state. Thanks to a severe drought, every man and woman under 50 has fled Mamna in recent weeks, leaving behind the elderly and women with very young children. “They thought we were like cattle, a burden in this hard time because we only eat but yield no returns,” says Bai whose two sons and their wives also migrated to Agra -- a city 255 km away -- to work in a brick kiln.
At this stage of the process that began in December 2014 with the surprise announcement of the opening of relations between the United States and Cuba, hardly anything counts as spectacular news. The detail in the decision by Washington and Havana that made news in the traditional sense (man bites dog) was that the plan to sit down and talk implied that Cuba gave up its prior demand that the embargo be lifted. The United States, for its part, accepted that Cuba did not undertake to make any special changes to its own political system.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raúl Castro will go down in history as two statesmen who managed to overcome more than half a century of hostility to bring back together two neighbouring countries with too many shared interests to remain at loggerheads.
It is no coincidence that Boutros Boutros-Ghali was the only Secretary General in the history of the United Nations able to serve only one term instead of the two that have become traditional. The United States vetoed his re-election, in spite of the favourable vote of the other members of the Security Council.