In Hollywood movies, the legendary Wild West was routinely portrayed with gunslingers, lawmen and villains—resulting in the ultimate showdown between the “good guys and the bad guys”.
Linda Thomson-Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council early this month that the warring parties in the devastating 12-month-long civil war in Ethiopia involve the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Eritrean Defense Forces, the Amhara Special Forces, and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front.
The United Nations, which consists of 193 member states, has long been accused of discrimination against staffers who number over 315,000 and spread across 56 UN agencies and entities worldwide.
But most of these are deeply rooted system-wide. A wide-ranging staff survey, both in New York and Geneva last year, revealed that discrimination was based either on race, religion, gender or nationality.
The United Nations has come under heavy fire for continuing a 20-month-long ban on non-governmental organizations (NGOs)– even though the Secretariat is expected to return to near-normal by November 15 after a pandemic lockdown going back to March 2020.
The United Nations, which suffered a pandemic lockdown over the last 20 months-- with most staffers tele-working from their homes-- is expected to return to near-normal, come November 15.
When over 100 political leaders meet in Scotland next week for the UN Climate Change Conference, the very future of our planet seems to hinge on the outcome of the summit which is scheduled to take place October 31-November 12.
The British novelist George Orwell’s “1984” characterized a dystopian society where people were restricted from independent thought and were victims of constant surveillance.
Published in 1949, it was a prophecy of the future with the underlying theme: “Big Brother is Watching You”
A growing diplomatic battle is being played out at the United Nations between Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and one of the world body’s member states: the politically-troubled Ethiopia which is desperately in need of international humanitarian assistance.
When the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan receives the political blessings of the 193-member General Assembly-- and eventually inherits its seat at the United Nations-- it will have to ultimately prove its credentials as a member of good standing by adhering to the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – as all member states do.
When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan during 1996-2001, the United Nations was engaged in a losing battle for women’s rights.
And that battle was occasionally led by two senior female UN officials, one of them working for a UN agency providing humanitarian assistance inside unfriendly Taliban territory.
When hundreds of delegates and diplomats arrive in New York city next week for the new 76th session of the UN General Assembly, they will be pinned down with pandemic restrictions in a city where Delta variant infections have been skyrocketing.
When the high-level segment of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly opens September 21, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is unlikely to occupy a much-coveted seat in the world body.
The rigid new restrictions imposed by New York city-- currently facing a surge in the deadly Delta corona virus variant-- have prompted scores of US companies to impose mandatory vaccinations on all employees, mostly returning to work after temporary lockdowns.
When the Taliban captured power back in 1996, one of its first political acts was to hang the ousted Afghan President Mohammed Najibullah in Ariana Square in Kabul.
The newly-installed government played a triple role: judge, jury and hangman, all three rolled into one.
As the 20-year-old occupation of Afghanistan came to an inglorious end last week, there were heavy losses suffered by many-- including the United States, the Afghan military forces and the country’s civilian population.
As New York city struggles to cope with the widespread outbreak of the deadly new coronavirus Delta variant -– which has claimed more than 100,000 cases per day in the US— the United Nations is laying down strict guidelines at its headquarters (UNHQ) for staffers, diplomats and visiting delegates.
The annual high-level debate during the upcoming 76th General Assembly sessions beginning September 21 —which traditionally attracted over 150 world leaders in a pre-pandemic era-- is now clouded in uncertainty.
A landmark report on the hazards of climate change predicts a devastating future for the world at large.
Authored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and released August 9, the study is being described by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as “code red for humanity”— a rallying cry before an impending global disaster.
The United Nations has long preached the wisdom of transparency and accountability to the outside world, but has failed to practice the same principles in its own backyard – or even on the 39th floor of the Secretary-General’s office in the UN Secretariat.
Ed Koch, a sharp-tongued Mayor of New York city (1978-89), once stopped short of using a four-letter word to denounce the United Nations.
Instead, he opted for a five-letter word dismissing the UN as a “sewer” relegating it to the lower depths of degradation.
As a wisecracking cynic once remarked: “The sun would never set on the British empire because God wouldn’t trust an Englishman in the dark“. Perhaps it was an uncharitable remark because most of the British colonies have long gone.
With Henrietta Fore's decision last week to step down as UNICEF Executive Director, her successor is most likely to be another American since that post has been held-- uninterruptedly -- by US nationals for almost 74 years, an unprecedented all-time record for a high-ranking job in the UN system.