Global Geopolitics

The UN’s Guterres, an Incumbent With Strong Backing by Europe, Is Bound to Win Another Term

It was all over in one crucial week. Barring an unforeseen hitch, António Guterres is the clear winner of a second, five-year term as secretary-general of the United Nations, beginning on Jan.1, 2022. This was not a surprise: he had no major competition and the process moved faster than expected.

Is the Campaign for a Female UN Chief a Good Try in a Lost Cause?

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.

Coping with the USA-China Conflict – Strategic Procrastination

For several years, a fast growing and assertive China has been challenging the USA’s global dominance.  China’s GDP, taking into account differences in purchasing power, is now greater than that of the USA; its military spending has been expanding rapidly and exceeds by wide margins that of other countries except the USA with which it is catching up; it is the manufacturing power house of the world; it is quickly moving up the technological ladder; and it is the key trading partner for an increasing number of countries.  All this is creating tensions with the USA and its key allies.

US-China Cold War Could Lead to a More Dangerous Nuclear Stand-off

Despite the negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), we are confronted by the increasing dangers of great power war, even nuclear war.

World Moving Towards a “Devastating Marriage” of Artificial Intelligence & Weapons of War

Landmines are among the most insidious and cruel weapons of all, because they do not distinguish between armed soldiers, civilians or even children.

UN’s Most Powerful Political Body Remains Paralyzed Battling a New Cold War

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 UN Security Council and the “New US-China Cold War”

Commentators talk about a “new Cold War” between the United States and China. They sometimes conclude that the geopolitical rivalry between these two major powers has ruined the effectiveness of the UN Security Council through hostile vetoes and other barriers to Council action.

Brexit Shows Why Traders Need Reliable Information But Many Are Ahead of the Game

It’s now almost three months since the United Kingdom entered into a new trade agreement with the European Union. During that time, we’ve seen traders struggle to get to grips with the new arrangements. From lorry drivers having their sandwiches confiscated by Dutch customs officers to estimates of additional paperwork costs of $7 billion a year, and pig breeders watching their meat rot on the quayside for want of the correct forms.

A Global South Organization – a Sine Qua Non for Developing Nations’ Influence in World Arena

I observed the Group of 77 (G77) shortly after the 1964 Geneva Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the 1968 UNCTAD 2 in New Delhi and the 1972 UNCTAD 3 in Santiago. The Group was influential at the time, benefiting from several factors helpful for its functioning which are no longer present, namely:

Are High-Ranking UN Jobs the Political Birthright of Big Powers?

The United Nations has continued to pursue a notoriously longstanding tradition of doling out some of the highest-ranking jobs either to the five big powers, who are permanent members of the Security Council—namely the US, UK, China, France and Russia – or to Western industrialized nations such as Spain, Italy, Canada, Sweden, Germany, plus Japan.

Western Sahara, Africa’s Last Colony, to Resume Liberation Struggle on Hold Since 1991

The question of Western Sahara, known as Africa’s last colony, has recently gained great visibility in international media interestingly due to two drastic developments.

The UN: From the Sublime to the Hilarious

The United Nations is an institution mired in politics focusing primarily on military conflicts, civil wars, economic sanctions, peacekeeping, plus sustainable economic development.

Where do UN Diplomats Hide During Politically-Sensitive Voting?

The United Nations, created in 1945 following the devastation caused by World War II, was mandated with one central mission: the maintenance of international peace and security.

Kim is Waiting for Joe — But for How Long?

How long can Kim Jong-un wait patiently? After a euphoric start, the Trump administration ultimately proved to be a bitter disappointment for the North Korean regime.

Forgotten Conflicts 2021: When Will the Crisis in the Central African Republic End?

Last October, an ICRC medical team helped a woman deliver a baby boy in the bush on their way to a health center we support in Grévaï, a small town in the north-central region of CAR. On her way to the market, by foot, the woman went into labour and only by chance did not have to go through it alone, surviving along with her baby.

Post-Coup Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi and the Way Forward

The 1 February 2021 coup d’état by Myanmar’s military (Tatmadaw), has been widely condemned by all the world’s democratic leaders, human rights activists and genuine friends of the people of Myanmar around the globe. In an unusual manner for the world’s top diplomat, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has gone so far as to urge the world community to make sure that Myanmar's military coup fails.

China & Russia Throw Protective Arms Around Myanmar

When million-dollar arms sales knock on the door, human rights violations and war crimes fly out of the window. As the United Nations grapples for a reaction to the military coup in Myanmar, both China and Russia, two veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), refused to support a statement condemning the army takeover—a collective statement that warrants consensus from all 15 members.

Sri Lanka on Alarming Path Towards Recurrence of Grave Human Rights Violations, Says UN

A new UN report published on Wednesday warns that the failure of Sri Lanka to address past violations has significantly heightened the risk of human rights violations being repeated.

With a War-Mongering President Gone, is the World Safe from Nuclear Brinkmanship?

A war-mongering president, with his finger on the nuclear trigger--- and who threatened to attack North Korea and Iran-- was unceremoniously drummed out of office on January 20.

Will Biden Administration Respond to the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, End Threat of a Nuclear War & Bring Nuclear-armed States Together to Achieve Global Nuclear Disarmament?

Many of us around the world breathed a sigh of relief yesterday (Jan 20) as the ‘nuclear football’ (the briefcase with nuclear weapons codes and communication links for the President to launch a nuclear attack) was passed from Mr Trump to President Biden, as the new president was inaugurated.

Biden: the Task of a Good Loser

What for Donald Trump was an insult, for Joe Biden is an acknowledgment: the new president of the United States is the establishment in its purest form. No other similar case is remembered of having reached the presidency with a better preparation. For almost half a century he has been "inside the beltway." It is the sector occupied by the District of Columbia, which claims to be recognized as a state, surrounded by a huge highway. Biden would be perfectly accepted as a traffic guard, without passing the exam.

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