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.
When a Southeast Asian ambassador hosted a lunch for journalists, including reporters from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, he told us there was an ulterior motive for the sumptuous lunch at his residence.
When the United Nations renovated its building at a cost of over $2.1 billion, as part of a seven-year refurbishing project back in 2014, the seating in the cavernous General Assembly hall was increased from 193 to 204—primarily in anticipation of at least 11 new member states joining the world body sooner or later.
When the UN’s annual report on Children and Armed Conflict was released last week, it was expected to “name and shame” some of the world’s worst human rights violators – particularly the abusers of children.
The world’s nine nuclear armed states have downsized their military arsenals, but made up for their loss by increasing the number of weapons on high operational alert, according to a new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
A hilarious anecdote, recounted in the New York Times years ago, related to the widespread corruption embedded in the political culture of a Southeast Asian country where crooked politicians were willing to provide receipts every time they received a bribe—big time bribes.
The United Nations has been in the forefront of an ongoing battle against the growing hazards of climate change, including the destruction of different species of plants and animals, the danger of rising sea-levels threatening the very existence of small island developing states (SIDS), and the risks of oceans reaching record temperatures endangering aquatic resources.
In most civil wars and military conflicts across the politically-volatile Middle East, including in Syria, Yemen and Palestine, the ongoing battles are being fought not on a level playing field but on an uneven killing field.
The UN Security Council (UNSC), the most powerful political body at the United Nations, has largely remained silent or ineffective in resolving one of the longstanding military conflicts in the Middle East involving Israelis and Palestinians.
As negotiations for the upcoming election—or re-election-- of a UN Secretary-General gather momentum, one undeniable fact looms heavily over the final decision: the choice of a UN chief is the intellectual birthright of the five big permanent members (P5) of the Security Council, namely, the US, UK, France, China and Russia.
In the contemporary world of journalism, female reporters face a double jeopardy: they are increasingly targeted both as journalists and as women-- particularly in repressive regimes and misogynistic societies.
When the UN’s Beirut-based Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), released a landmark 2017 report on “apartheid” in Israel, the United Nations disassociated itself with the study and left it to die--- unceremoniously and unsung.
The United Nations-- which is desperately seeking funds to help developing nations battling a staggering array of socio-economic problems, including extreme poverty, hunger, economic inequalities and environmental hazards-- has continued to be one of the strongest advocates of disarmament.
A new Cold War – this time, between the US and China —is threatening to paralyze the UN’s most powerful body, even as military conflicts and civil wars are sweeping across the world, mostly in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
The 15,900-strong World Bank, which has funded over 12,000 development projects worldwide since 1947, is an international institution with a superlative reputation for its sustained efforts to end poverty in the developing world—with loans, interest-free credit and outright grants.