The United States re-asserted its political and economic clout - and its ability to twist arms and perhaps metaphorically break kneecaps - when it successfully lobbied to help defeat a crucial Security Council resolution on the future of Palestine this week.
On Nov. 18, a committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted
111 to 19, with 55 abstentions, in favour of drafting a non-binding resolution referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser currently heads the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. Between 2011-2012 he was president of the General Assembly, setting the agenda for debate in the assembly during the Arab Spring.
The U.N. Security Council (UNSC), the only international body empowered to declare war and peace, continues to remain a silent witness to the widespread devastation and killings worldwide, including in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine.
There is an age-old axiom in politics, says a cynical Asian diplomat, that you don't bite the hand that feeds you.
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.
Gaunt, haggard Syrian children begging and selling gum have become a fixture in streets of the Lebanese capital; having fled the ongoing conflict, they continue to be stalked by its effects.
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.
The Sixth BRICS Summit which ended Wednesday in Fortaleza, Brazil, attracted more attention than any other such gathering in the alliance’s short history, and not just from its own members – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
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.
The United Nations has reached a virtual dead end trying to resolve the civil war in Syria - primarily as a result of the stalemate in peace talks and the continued deadlock in the Security Council.
The United Nations claims that a key Security Council resolution adopted unanimously back in 2004 has been instrumental in keeping weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) from the hands of terrorists and insurgent groups worldwide.
After a week that saw a massacre inside a U.N. base and wide-scale ethnic-based slaughter in an oil-producing region, the international community is grappling with what, if any, options remain to save lives in South Sudan.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, conscious of the stark ineffectiveness of the Security Council over the upheaval in Ukraine, is engaged in a round of shuttle diplomacy with Russian and Ukrainian leaders to help resolve the crisis in that region.
As the protracted Syrian conflict enters its fourth year, there seems to be little or no hope of a resolution to the devastating crisis.