IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse

Afghanistan – a Turning Point?

Headlines in the press, live TV and internet coverage of the chaos at Kabul airport following the American withdrawal from Afghanistan has generated an impression around the world of an American foreign policy debacle, belittling the supremacy of American military power.

Biden’s Revenge: Fueling ‘Madness of Militarism’ in Afghanistan

Joe Biden provided a stirring soundbite days ago when he spoke from the White House just after suicide bombers killed 13 U.S. troops and 170 Afghans at a Kabul airport: “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

South Korea’s Women Fire Back

A strong movement of feminism is sweeping South Korea. While women feel empowered to stand their ground, the men are retaliating. When South Korean archer An San won two gold medals in just two days during the recent Tokyo Olympics, the response the 20-year-old received at home was a mixed. Some men were angered and said her medals should be taken away. Why? Because her short hair was a sign that she was a ‘man-hating’ feminist.

Taliban’s Quest for Legitimacy – and a Seat at the United Nations

When the Taliban captured power back in 1996, one of its first political acts was to hang the ousted Afghan President Mohammed Najibullah in Ariana Square in Kabul. The newly-installed government played a triple role: judge, jury and hangman, all three rolled into one.

Social Protection at a Crossroad—and Poverty On the Rise

How can we ensure a resilient and inclusive recovery from COVID-19? How can we hold on to the target of eradicating poverty and hunger by 2030, with the pandemic still ongoing?

After Afghanistan, War’s Idealists Must Accept Defeat

As the Western occupation of Afghanistan has come to an end, TV news is broadcasting harrowing scenes of death and destruction, citizens in fear, allies abandoned, and dreams dashed.

Crisis in Afghanistan: All Eyes on Central Asia

The political and human catastrophe in Afghanistan is threatening to boost autocratic tendencies in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. With the withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Afghanistan and the rapid takeover by the Taliban, neighbouring Central Asian countries are once again at the focus of international attention.

Cuba, a Small Island State Seeking to Manage Its Vulnerability

Cuba, already beset by hurricanes, floods, droughts that deplete its main water sources, among other natural disasters, has seen its socioeconomic difficulties, similar to those faced by other Caribbean island nations, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tragedy of Afghanistan: Is there a Way Forward?

The desperate scenes at Kabul airport of Afghans trying to flee and the image of the US Airforce flight taxying down the runway with people scrambling to climb on, is an image that will be etched on our minds forever.

Afghanistan – What Will Happen Now?

As I write this, India has just celebrated the 75th anniversary of its independence from British rule (Pakistan celebrated it a day earlier). But there is little cause for celebration. A dark shadow looms over both countries, indeed over much of the world as well.

Where Did We Go So Wrong in Afghanistan?

President Biden’s decision to finally withdraw US forces from Afghanistan was the correct decision and certainly overdue. However, the lack of preparation to do so orderly and safely was yet another terrible mistake in a string of mistakes that have plagued the US from day one.

Were US War Profiteers the Ultimate Winners in Battle-Scarred Afghanistan?

As the 20-year-old occupation of Afghanistan came to an inglorious end last week, there were heavy losses suffered by many-- including the United States, the Afghan military forces and the country’s civilian population.

How to Protect Your Data from Malicious Encryption?

Ransomware is deploying its encryption right on your computer. The malicious process runs in the background as you continue your everyday activities suspecting no cyber disaster ahead.

A New Global Agenda on Sport for 2030

Does sport need to change to better serve society? What can sport and development actors do better in the future? How can sport play a greater role in contributing to development and peace? Can we reimagine the role of sport? Can we resolve the conflict and contradictions inherent within sport?

Indigenous Peoples Need Recognition, Reciprocity & a New Social Contract

The coronavirus pandemic has invited the world to reflect on relationships – between people within and across countries and communities, and between people and nature around the planet.

UN’s Ultimatum to Staff & Diplomats: Get Vaccinated or Go Hungry

As New York city struggles to cope with the widespread outbreak of the deadly new coronavirus Delta variant -– which has claimed more than 100,000 cases per day in the US— the United Nations is laying down strict guidelines at its headquarters (UNHQ) for staffers, diplomats and visiting delegates.

Will World Leaders Risk a UN Visit Amid a Surge in the Deadly Virus?

The annual high-level debate during the upcoming 76th General Assembly sessions beginning September 21 —which traditionally attracted over 150 world leaders in a pre-pandemic era-- is now clouded in uncertainty.

Trouble in the Land of Smiles?

Could the rise of the youth-led 'Ratsadon' movement lead to changes in Thai politics? Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha now faces an ongoing threat as the movement continues to mobilize many, especially young people, against the government. They have broken traditional taboos by opening new conversations about the monarchy and shaping public discourse to question many conservative views in Thai society.

UN Preaches Transparency to the Outside World but Fails to Practice it in its Own Backyard

The United Nations has long preached the wisdom of transparency and accountability to the outside world, but has failed to practice the same principles in its own backyard – or even on the 39th floor of the Secretary-General’s office in the UN Secretariat.

Human Ingenuity Now Needed for Our Survival

The scientific and other human accomplishments in my 90-year lifetime are not only amazing but also seem to have apparently made too many of us arrogant and feckless about our future human survival on Earth. Or, if not arrogant or feckless, at least largely or unknowingly ignoring the urgency of the onset of devastating environmental threats.

Multilateral Peace Operations in 2020: Developments & Trends

The first year of the Covid-19 pandemic saw wide-ranging impacts on multilateral peace operations. The crisis simultaneously affected all operations, host nations, headquarters and contributing countries. It caused major disruption—from the political-strategic level where mandates are drawn up, down to the operational and tactical levels.

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