Global Governance

Covax, the Developing World’s Hope against COVID, Has Made It Only Halfway

The Covax initiative, the hope of the countries of the developing South to immunize their populations against COVID-19, only met half of its goals in 2021. And as 2022 begins, and the omicron variant of the virus is spreading fast, the scheme still depends on the decisions of pharmaceutical companies and the goodwill of donor governments.

Somalia on the Path to Recovery, but Real Challenges Remain

I arrived in Somalia in September 2019, two decades after having worked here previously. I knew that I was taking up a challenging assignment, but I was also looking forward to seeing Somalia’s progress.

Ominous History in Real Time: Where We Are Now in the USA

The final big legislative achievement of 2021 was a bill authorizing $768 billion in military spending for the next fiscal year. President Biden signed it two days after the Christmas holiday glorifying the Prince of Peace.

As the Pandemic Devastates the Poor, the World’s 10 Richest Have Multiplied their Wealth into Trillions

The numbers are unbelievably staggering: the world’s 10 richest men more than doubled their fortunes from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion —at a rate of $15,000 per second or $1.3 billion a day, according to a new study from Oxfam International.

Fully Ready to Kill, Shockingly Unprepared to Save Lives

While absolutely ready to kill, with the biggest military powers spending in 2020 nearly two trillion US dollars on weapons, the world is shockingly unprepared to save the lives of millions of unarmed, innocent civilian victims of wars… and other man-made catastrophes.

Democracy Under Assault

There is no doubt that the building the magnificent Women’s Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo 2020 deserves unconditional praise and admiration, a bold landmark that projects the concept of gender empowerment and gender equality.

On Nuclear Weapons, Actions Belie Reassuring Words

On Jan. 3, the leaders of the five nuclear-armed members of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) issued a rare joint statement on preventing nuclear war in which they affirmed, for the first time, the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev maxim that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

Covid-19 Disrupts UN & Threatens Potential Cash Crisis in World Body

The 22-month-old coronavirus pandemic – which has claimed over 5.4 million lives worldwide, devastated economies and reduced an additional 100 million people to poverty—has also disrupted the work of a partially locked-down United Nations triggering a potential cash crisis in the world body.

The Straw that Broke Kazakhstan’s Back

The most violent protests of the past 30 years have erupted across Kazakhstan — exposing decades of inequality, injustice, and corruption. The protests of an unprecedented scale have rocked cities across Kazakhstan for days, as the population grew increasingly dissatisfied with the country’s leadership.

US Democracy Faces Gravest Danger

Unless the Republicans and Democrats put the nation above their party and personal interests, our democracy will face the gravest danger in more than a hundred years. Authoritarianism will creep in, leading to the collapse of American political institutions and the demise of our democracy as we know it.

Journalists Who Faced Relentless, Targeted Attacks: 293 Imprisoned in 2021

This past year, uncertainty blanketed our world. The COVID-19 pandemic, the rapidly advancing climate crisis, the pervasive nature of new technologies, and encroaching authoritarianism have all shown that our world is changing fast and in ways that fundamentally affect how we live.

Interview with Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China, on the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics

The interview was originally conducted by Beijing Daily. Beijing Daily: The world is paying attention to whether the Beijing Winter Olympic Games can be successfully held 6 months after the Tokyo Olympics in the face of COVID-19. How do you evaluate the preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympics? What is the key to the success of the Beijing Winter Olym-pics? What kind of signal will the successful hosting of the Beijing Winter Olympics send to the world?

America Faces a Fateful Crossroad in 2022

When my assistant handed me copy expressing my greetings and good wishes for 2022 for approval, I paused, thinking, “is that all I can say, just hope for a better, brighter new year?”

Biden Should Add Development to the Next Summit for Democracy – and Convene a Development Summit

U.S. President Biden just hosted The Summit for Democracy to demonstrate the advantages of democracy in the global competition with authoritarian regimes. The U.S. can succeed in this competition by demonstrating to the people of developing countries (i.e., the vast majority of the world’s population) how coupling democracy and development is the best course to improve their lives.

2021 Revealed the Fragility of Food Systems

The end of this year has revealed the fragility of food systems when faced with sudden disruptions such as those observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. These disruptions have increased the number of people with limited or no access to food in the world. Today, more than 811 million people suffer from hunger, according to recent studies.

When the Glass House by the East River Exploded in Laughter….

Created in 1945 following the devastation caused by World War II, the United Nations was mandated with the task of maintaining international peace and security as one of its primary political missions. But the seriousness of its far-reaching mandate has been tempered by occasional moments of levity which have rocked the “glass house by the east river” with laughter -- as recounted in a newly-released book on the United Nations titled “No Comment –and Don’t Quote me on That”.

Q&A: Femicides, Domestic Violence and Online Violence Have Been Exacerbated

"The level of injustice in the world cannot go on like this…I am not pessimistic about the future," said Gladys Acosta, president of the CEDAW Committee, in an interview with IPS in the Peruvian capital.

A Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone in the Middle East— & the Elephant in the Room

Israel’s nuclear presence in the Middle East is best characterized as “the elephant in the room” -– an obvious fact intentionally ignored with deafening silence.

Global Arms Industry Thrives Amid Worldwide Pandemic Devastation

The 21-month long pandemic, which began with the outbreak of the deadly corona virus back in March 2020, ravaged hundreds and thousands of businesses and industries resulting either in widespread losses, closures or bankruptcies.

Big Tobacco Industry Rides COVID-19 Pandemic as Countries Grapple for a Response

Almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries in the developing world continue to grapple with basic issues such as securing sufficient vaccines and providing essential medical care for their sick. Many economies are in recovery mode as governments scramble to resuscitate them with recovery packages and build back better plans.

Volunteerism: Central to the Creation of a New Social Contract

The International Volunteer Day, on December 5, is not just one of the many internationally observed days that the United Nations commemorates annually.

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