Global Geopolitics

At 75, is the UN Still Fit for Purpose?

This September, New Yorkers will be a lot less annoyed. They’ve been spared the annual disruptions from road closures, sirens and movement of security forces accompanying world leaders who attend the UN General Assembly. By largely moving online due to COVID-19, the world’s most significant gathering will be missing some of its excitement even as the UN celebrates an important 75th anniversary in 2020.

Will Trump Threaten to Pullout or De-fund the United Nations?

Back in 1998, Senator Jesse Helms, a rightwing Republican from the US state of North Carolina, carried out a virulent one-man hate-campaign against the UN-- and its very presence in New York.

TikTok, Trump and the Need for a Digital Non-Aligned Movement

Recent weeks have seen a dramatic escalation in the U.S.’ stance towards tech companies from the People's Republic of China (PRC). After hounding the telecommunications company Huawei for years, the social networking app TikTok is the latest Chinese company to enter the firing line.

The First “Virtual” Post-Pandemic UN General Assembly Meeting

Although we have not convened in this Hall since March, New York-based delegations have worked tirelessly to uphold the values and principles set out in the Charter of the United Nations, whilst contending with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Racism at the UN: Practice What You Preach

When two recent staff surveys, one in Geneva and the other in New York, revealed widespread racism at the United Nations, it triggered the obvious question: why shouldn’t the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) probe these charges?

Staff Surveys Reveal Widespread Racism at the United Nations

As it continues to vociferously preach the virtues of equality—advocating equal rights for all, irrespective of race, sex, language or religion-- the United Nations has been quick to condemn racism and racial discrimination worldwide.

Beating Anger into Empathy: the Need of the Hour in Ethiopia

The murder of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, an icon of the Oromo people in Ethiopia was a tragic loss for all who struggle for rights in systems that fail to accommodate them.

If Trump Delivers His Last Hurrah to an Empty United Nations, Will it Still Make a Sound?

There is no love lost between the United Nations and US President Donald Trump. When he addressed the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly in September 2018, Trump falsely told delegates that "in less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country"

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In the cinematic context of the death of the Italian and universal composer, Ennio Morricone, author of the background music of more than four hundred films, as an indirect tribute, Europe took a solid step.

If UN is Working “Full Throttle” While Locked Down, Shouldn’t Most Staffers Work from Home –Permanently?

When the coronavirus pandemic delivered a mortal blow to the United States, grounding the country to a virtual standstill and throwing its economy into a deep recession, hundreds and thousands were forced to work “remotely” while offices remained shuttered, beginning late March.

Trump the Wannabe Dictator

I, like many of my fellow Americans, am extremely concerned about Trump’s dictatorial tendencies. Given his behavior – what he said and did over the past four years – he may well act on some of these tendencies, especially if he loses the election by a narrow margin.

UN Chief Warns of Deadly Germs as Potential Bioterrorist Weapons

The coronavirus—which has claimed the lives of over 538,000 people and infected more than 11.6 million worldwide—has destabilized virtually every facet of human life ever since its outbreak in late December.

Security Council’s Overdue COVID-19 Ceasefire Resolution Must Put Women & Youth at Center

More than three months after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made an urgent appeal for a global ceasefire in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Security Council has finally passed a resolution supporting his call.

The Missing SDG: Ensure the Digital Age Supports People, Planet, Prosperity & Peace

As the nations of the world prepare to gather virtually to assess progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), society is just beginning to imagine what a post-COVID world might be like.

Nuclear Testing, Never Again

Seventy-five years ago, on July 16, the United States detonated the world’s first nuclear weapons test explosion in the New Mexican desert. Just three weeks later, U.S. Air Force B-29 bombers executed surprise atomic bomb attacks on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing at least 214,000 people by the end of 1945, and injuring untold thousands more who died in the years afterward.

Cover-up at the UN: You Scratch My Back & I’ll Scratch Yours

The ongoing battle between China and the United States is threatening to paralyze the most powerful body at the United Nations – the 15-member Security Council (UNSC)—which has virtually gone MIA (missing in action) on some of the key politically-sensitive issues of the day.

India’s Test along the Line of Actual Control

Being the sole candidate from the Asia Pacific region for the non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), India was elected by 184 votes in the 193-member United Nations’ General Assembly. on June 17, 2020.

The US & the UN — A Looming Confrontation

The recent approach of the US to the UN and its agencies has left many shaking their heads. The US, under President Roosevelt, played a seminal role in creating the UN and its key agencies after World War II and subsequently nurturing them.

Reopening from the Great Lockdown: Uneven and Uncertain Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed economies into a Great Lockdown, which helped contain the virus and save lives, but also triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression. Over 75 percent of countries are now reopening at the same time as the pandemic is intensifying in many emerging market and developing economies. Several countries have started to recover. However, in the absence of a medical solution, the strength of the recovery is highly uncertain and the impact on sectors and countries uneven.

Message to Ostracized World Leaders: You Don’t Need a US Visa to Address the UN

The coronavirus pandemic is beginning to transform the United Nations into an institution far beyond recognition. The Secretariat building has been shut down since mid-March, and the UN campus will continue to remain a ghost town through end July-- and perhaps beyond-- with nearly 3,000 staffers, delegates and journalists working, mostly from home.

Sanctions, Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Will Lead to Humanitarian Catastrophe

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread across the world. Although the numbers of infections and deaths vary between countries, they are increasing dramatically in some places, threatening people's health as well as the basis of their economic and social lives.

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