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
All people belong to one biological species and there are no human “races”. So why does belief in race persist? It may be a scientific misconception, but it is real. It defines the lived experience of many people and determines how governments act and how people treat one another. How did race come to have this power and this durability?
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.
Reports of escalating violence against women and children made the news almost everyday in March and April following the announcement of lockdowns to control the spread of Covid-19. The main concern has been that victims cannot escape their abusers or seek help when they share a confined space and are under constant scrutiny and the threat of violence.
Unless there is a restructuring of debt for developing countries, the servicing for this debt will take away valuable resources from these nations that are needed to prevent the further suffering of people during the coronavirus pandemic -- particularly with regards to safeguarding the health systems, and protecting the “integrity and resilience of economies”.
The Covid-19 crisis has had several unexpected effects, including renewed attention to food security concerns. Earlier understandings of food security in terms of production self-sufficiency have given way to importing supplies since late 20th century promotion of trade liberalization.
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.
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.
Just as the U.S. is haunted by the 1963 murder of John F. Kennedy, Sweden is troubled by the 1986 murder of its Prime Minister Olof Palme. The American feelings were aired on Bob Dylan´s latest album, Rough and Rowdy Ways
, containing a 16 minutes long song with lines like:
Seventy-five years ago, on 26 June 1945, before the Japanese surrender ending the Second World War, fifty nations gathered at San Francisco’s Opera House to sign the United Nations (UN) Charter
Cast your mind back. Six months ago—it seems like a lifetime—the world’s attention was on Madrid. The United Nations was meeting to take stock of international progress in fighting climate change. Headlines were dominated by young people pointing out—rightly—that governments were still not doing enough. They demanded urgent and ambitious action to cut emissions and help the most vulnerable.
Global upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has left society’s most vulnerable exposed. Instances of child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) found online have increased at an alarming rate over past months.
The current pandemic is not only heightening mental health concerns, but might also put many at risk of becoming institutionalised or being neglected by the system.
The coronavirus pandemic, suspected of originating in bats and pangolins, has brought the risk of viruses that jump from wildlife to humans into stark focus.
Katharina Pistor’s recent book, The Code of Capital: How the law creates wealth and inequality
shows how law has been crucial to the creation of capital, and how capital continues to survive, evolve and enhance its ability to ‘make money’, or secure wealth legally, i.e., through the law.
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.
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.
The lack of a coordinated international response had led to varying results worldwide in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Two countries that have long coordinated their response to global goals like promotion on democracy, human rights and environmental issues, Sweden and Costa Rica highlight how public policy matters. While with their similar approaches to climate change the two walk together, their different approaches to COVID-19 have reaped disparate results, and death tolls.
Racism is not only an American problem but a plague that people of African descent have had to endure since time immemorial.
Rather than seizing this historic moment to act decisively, the United Nations, the world’s highest platform for human rights, dithered on the issue when it was called on to establish a full commission of inquiry on race following the outrageous killing of George Floyd on May 25 2020.