On July 29 Russia vetoed a draft U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolution on the establishment of an international tribunal to investigate the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine last year - killing all 298 people on board.
When all 15 members of the Security Council raised their collective hands to unanimously vote in favour of the recently-concluded nuclear agreement with Iran, they were also defying a cabal of right-wing conservative U.S. politicians who wanted the United Nations to defer its vote until the U.S. Congress makes its own decision on the pact.
The United Nations continues to come under heavy fire for singling out mostly non-Western states for human rights violations while ignoring the misdeeds of Western nations or big powers.
It is hard to imagine today the public enthusiasm that greeted the founding of the U.N. in 1945. After massive suffering and social collapse resulting from the Second World War, the U.N. seemed almost miraculous – a means at last to build peace, democracy, and a just society on a global scale.
When a U.N. panel released a 217-page report accusing both Israel and Hamas of possible war crimes committed during the 50-day conflict in Gaza last July, the chances of Security Council action were remote because of the traditional U.S. commitment to stand by Israel – right or wrong, mostly wrong.
Israel’s deadly game of divide and conquer against its enemies could be coming home to roost with a vengeance, especially as the Islamic State (ISIS) grows in strength in neighbouring countries and moves closer to Israel’s borders.
Seventy years since its inception, the United Nations remains at the core of the multilateral system. The world body, together with the Bretton Woods institutions, was conceived in the mid-1940s by the architects of the postwar order with the central aim of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war on the one hand, and the need to reconstruct and revive the global economy on the other.
As the U.N. Security Council met to discuss the ongoing political crisis in Burundi Thursday, a rights group says violence has intensified in the capital Bujumbura, with individuals and groups close to the presidency and the ruling party targeting civil society activists, journalists and opposition members.
The euphoria that spread though the world after the Iran nuclear agreement reached in Lausanne in April this year with the United States, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom and Germany, plus the European Union, is proving short-lived.
When war breaks out, most non-combatants run the other way. But a handful of courageous reporters see it as their duty to tell the world what's happening on the ground. And many pay a high price.
As the U.N. enters its 70th year, it is legitimate to ask whether it has been a success so far. Over the years, the media, in particular the Western media, has tended to highlight the U.N.'s failures.
Events are being organised around the world to celebrate the 70th
anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, but a recent seminar held in the Austrian capital was not held to applaud the body’s past contributions.
Palestine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, has sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council demanding that action be taken against Israel over the abuse of Palestinian children after they have been arrested by Israeli security forces.
The large majority of countries, and most of the people in the world, already recognise Palestine as an independent state.
The visit to Cuba of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Mar. 23-24, and the forthcoming visit in May planned by French President François Hollande, have fast-tracked the agenda of relations between the European Union and Cuba.