Recently I had an opportunity to brief a group of European diplomats and journalists on a variety of conflicts, with a focus on the Middle East. During the Q&A I was asked which of the region’s conflicts Biden should tackle first.
At the height of the Cold War back in the 1960s, a Peruvian diplomat, Dr. Victor Andres Belaunde, characterized the United Nations as a politically wobbly institution that survives only at the will-- and pleasure-- of the five big powers.
Covid-19 is on track to be the deadliest and one of the most catastrophic epidemics since the 1918-1919 flu pandemic, which infected about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population at the time. The number of deaths was estimated somewhere between 17 and 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million worldwide.
Donald Trump will have to leave the White House in January. Although there will be a few skirmishes in the US courts in the coming weeks to sort out whether some votes were legitimate or not, the outcome won’t change.
The world’s major military powers exercise their dominance largely because of their massive weapons arsenals, including sophisticated fighter planes, drones, ballistic missiles, warships, battle tanks, heavy artillery—and nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
American democracy has survived a dangerous virus, and it has even come off the ventilator, but whether it will be restored to full health or will suffer for a long time (like a long Covid) from the negative effects of the virus of personality cult, chauvinism, populism, racism, militarism and, yes let’s say it, fascism, remains to be seen.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, armed forces in Latin America have been taking on essential tasks: manufacturing protective equipment, delivering food and treating civilians in hospitals. In at least a dozen countries, soldiers have been deployed to enforce containment measures, often using brute force, on populations made up of largely poor informal workers.
For my entire life, I have been forgotten. I am a Sahrawi refugee, born and raised in the Algerian desert, where my people have remained displaced for 45 years, awaiting the moment when we can finally return to our homeland, Western Sahara.
What has happened to the Republican Party? Picking Donald Trump in 2016 as the Republican candidate, giving him victory in primary after primary and later tolerating his idiosyncrasies and unpredictably dangerous behaviour and policy decisions were bad enough however much one tries to digest them as vagaries of the democratic tradition.
An anecdote tells, never sufficiently confirmed, that in the hardest moments of the Second World War when Stalin was dictating his orders of battle to his subordinates, he was told that perhaps it would be advisable to consult with the Pope. The Soviet dictator replied: "And how many armored divisions does the Pope have?"
The ouster of Donald Trump from the US presidency last week may well be the dawn of a new era for multilateralism – and perhaps for a besieged United Nations— after nearly four years of misguided political rhetoric emerging from the White House.
To believe that Biden's triumph is the end of the drama that has unfolded since January 2016 is an example of a mirage with fatal consequences. Pretending that those more than 70 million voters who have followed Trump to the end will disappear from the map on January 20 with the inauguration of Biden and Harris reveals a blindness to how much America has changed in recent generations.
Kofi Annan’s Secretary-General-ship was a second honeymoon for the UN, coming six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall it was a moment of hope and alignment between the major powers of which he took ample advantage.
Let me begin with an appeal to our venerable friend, the UN: get down on the ground with the grandchildren. Just having celebrated its 75th birthday, we can hear your knees creak! The UN, for as long as I have known it up close- since its thirties- has often seemed prematurely old.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will become binding law for participating states on January 22, 2021. Entry into force was triggered on October 24, the date marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, when Honduras become the 50th state to ratify the TPNW, reaching the threshold set by the treaty.
Half a dozen US Christian right groups have poured millions of dollars into Latin America and have promoted misinformation about COVID-19 and other health and rights issues, openDemocracy can reveal today.
For Europe, the region closest by culture and political tradition to the United States, the mood of the day after the presidential election may be very different from that assumed a priori depending on the verdict.
Responding to a question, Albert Einstein, the German-born physicist who won the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics, predicted rather ominously: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
By late September, the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States had claimed 200,000 lives
. That’s equivalent to a slightly higher toll than the 418,500 United States deaths in World War II, adjusted for relative population and duration. [See note below.]
As the United Nations plans to commemorate its annual UN Day, come October 24, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is presiding over a world body which has remained locked down since last March because of the spreading coronavirus pandemic.
Sporadic but spectacular acts of violence remind the global public of how deeply parts of Mexico have slid into lethal conflict over recent years.