Global Governance

UN’s High-Level Meeting of World Leaders Falls Short of Gender Empowerment

When the UN’s high-level meeting of world leaders concluded last week, the head count seemed lopsided: 190 speakers, including 76 Heads of State, 50 Heads of Government, 4 Vice-Presidents, 5 Deputy Prime Ministers, 48 Ministers and 7 Heads of Delegations—overwhelmingly male.

Reasonable Left, Irresponsible Right: & the Future of Social Democracy

With no shortage of catastrophes in the past 15 years worldwide — the democratic left is stepping up to provide stability amid the storm. Throughout the history of mankind, there have been catastrophes. In modern times, there have also been media representations of catastrophe, including worked-up or even imagined catastrophes.

A University for the Kurds of Syria

There is a main hall as well as workshops, laboratories and, of course, a cafeteria, where the half-hour break flies by amid card games and laughs. It could well be any university if it wasn't for those men armed with assault rifles at the entrance.

From Indonesia to India: Is There Hope for Anti-Corruption Efforts Within the G20?

As global crises mount, the G20 is proving unable to find solutions. Political disagreements within the bloc- including most prominently with Russia over the ongoing war in Ukraine- have hamstrung collective efforts.

Of the Mexican Joke and the Nuclear Top Guns

A Mexican joke goes: “I kill people for money. But you are my best friend, so I will kill you for nothing.”

Towards a More Secure Future Through Effective Multilateralism

As world leaders gather in New York for the opening of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly this week, the security horizon is undoubtedly dark.

Why Are Politicians Able to Read – and Understand – Some Texts and Not Others?

Day after day, the world's scientific community, based on solid investigations, elaborates dozens of studies identifying the causes of the existing emergencies facing humanity. They also prepare understandable summaries and conclusions and propose feasible solutions to the current crises and ways to prevent major future risks.

UN Bans NGOs During High-Level Meetings of World Leaders— Triggering Strong Protests

When world leaders, numbering over 150, make their annual political pilgrimage to address the General Assembly in the third week of September, the security at the world body is exceptionally tight. And this year is no exception.

Reflections on High-Level Meetings of the UN General Assembly

The high-level segment of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is famous for its fiery speeches and the colorful personalities assembled in the GA Hall. But much more goes on beyond the hall itself –the frenzy of the press in the broadcast trucks, security personnel on every sidewalk, military aides in dress uniforms, and an endless round of receptions and parties of every kind.

The Day the UN General Assembly Abandoned its New York City Home…

When the United Nations decided to locate its 39-storeyed Secretariat in New York city, the United States, as host nation, signed a “headquarters agreement” in 1947 not only ensuring diplomatic immunity to foreign diplomats but also pledging to facilitate the day-to-day activities of member states without any hindrance, including the issuance of US visas to enter the country.

Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value

International Equal Pay Day, observed officially by the United Nations on 16 September, aims to draw attention to the gender pay gap – the difference between what a woman earns compared to a man for work of equal value – and the systemic inequalities it is rooted in.

Unsettled Lives in a Troubled World

Cross-continent vacations seem to be the norm once again with the lessening of COVID-19 while new cities are being built with skyscraping $4M condos shooting up in a matter of months, and just-out-of-University millennials launching into their careers with minimum start-off salaries of $75K.

World Leaders, Mostly Autocrats, Plan to Skip Upcoming UN Sessions

When the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly sessions begin September 20, the official list of speakers include 92 heads of state (HS) and 56 heads of government (HG). But the “usual suspects,” mostly leaders of authoritarian regimes, are missing, including Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China, Kim Jong-un of North Korea, Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and the much-maligned military leaders of Myanmar.

Multi-Faith Team Urges Repeal of Blasphemy Laws– in the Name of Religious Freedom

In nations lacking certain religious freedoms, the bold multi-faith membership of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable’s Campaign to Eliminate Apostasy and Blasphemy Laws, would be forbidden.

UN Report Details Taliban Abuses in Afghanistan

This week, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, released his first report. It is a catalog of abuses under Taliban rule since August 2021 and their devastating impact on Afghans.

Afghanistan: A Treasure Worth More than a Trillion Dollars

Both mainstream media, international bodies and human rights defenders continue to rightly denounce the Taliban's inhuman abuses against the Afghan people’s basic rights, in particular those of women and girls.

A Plea for the Creation of a UN Youth Assembly

There are many ways the UN can have a sizeable role in promoting the engagement and participation of youth and helping them becoming a central pillar of a new way of doing policy-making.

Special Economic Zones: A Nod Towards Capitalism in Venezuela

Venezuela is preparing to replicate the experience of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), a mechanism with which more than 60 countries have tried to draw investment and accelerate economic growth, while under its avowedly socialist government a "silent neoliberalism" is gaining ground.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the Last Statesman

With the death of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last great statesman, and an entire epoch, disappears.

Will the Diplomat, Accused of Rape, be Prosecuted at Home?

When UN diplomats are charged with civil or criminal offenses – from traffic violations to sexual abuse -- they avoid prosecution and civil law suits under cover of diplomatic immunity. It’s a privilege exercised by diplomats worldwide—including US diplomats in overseas postings.

The Journey to Defend Human Rights Never Ends

As you know, after four years as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, my mandate ends next week, on 31 August. The world has changed fundamentally over the course of my mandate.

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