• WORLDVIEWS

    António Guterres, Please Reform the UN’s Human Rights Tools

    by  • November 20, 2017 • Human Rights, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 

    When recently asked what keeps him up at night, António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, gave a straight answer: bureaucracy as well as “fragmented structures, byzantine procedures, endless red tape.” Such flaws also apply to UN human-rights mechanisms, and Guterres should ensure that his UN-wide reform agenda prioritizes strengthening such tools, which can be...

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    Long Overdue: A New Boss at the UN Pension Fund and a Reformed Board

    by  • November 15, 2017 • Secretary-General, UN pension fund, WORLDVIEWS • 

    An important change was made to the United Nations pension fund last month, when Secretary-General António Guterres announced he was appointing Sudhir Rajkumar of India to succeed Carol Boykin as his representative for investments of the $61.5 billion fund. Guterres needs to make another major change, however, to address serious problems at the joint...

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    How Companies and Their Investors Pay Lip Service to UN Sanctions

    by  • November 5, 2017 • Asia, Nuclear Disarmament, Security Council, WORLDVIEWS • 

    If an investment, shareholding, credit or other financing tool benefits an enterprise or an individual that is  somehow violating a United Nations arms embargo or is committing atrocities, terrorist acts or proliferating weapons of mass destructions, is such an involvement contravening sanctions regimes and therefore breaking international law? Checking past and current UN Security...

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    As UN Climate Talks Convene, the Earth Veers Toward Catastrophe

    by  • November 2, 2017 • Climate and Environment, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Two years ago, the governments of the world unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a remarkable blueprint of the world’s most pressing long-term predicaments that the United Nations is good at lifting into the global conscience. Cataloguing 17 goals and 169 targets, the agenda contains an inventory of the remedial activities that...

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    The UN Base in Timbuktu: A Demanding Deployment in the Sahara

    by  • October 30, 2017 • Africa, Terrorism, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    TIMBUKTU — Who wants peace in Mali? If everyone says they want it, why is carrying out the 2015 peace agreement and its cease-fire so difficult? Part of the challenge for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali is not only helping to implement the agreement in the major cities, such as Timbuktu, but...

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    Four Easy Steps to Reform the UN Human Rights Council

    by  • October 15, 2017 • Human Rights, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    Problems encircling the United Nations Human Rights Council are verging toward a major crisis. The same crisis had engulfed its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, leading the secretary-general at the time, Kofi Annan, to call to replace it with the Council. But the same problems affecting the former Commission now affect its successor,...

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    Keeping a Close Eye on the UN’s Use of Unarmed Drones

    by  • October 10, 2017 • Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    In 2007, for the first time in history, United Nations forces operated an unmanned aerial vehicle — a small prototype for a short period by the UN mission in Haiti. In 2013, the UN officially launched drones (formally known as unmanned aerial systems, or UAS) for surveillance in a peacekeeping mission. Despite the controversies...

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    Guterres’s UN Reform Agenda? It Couldn’t Be Vaguer

    by  • September 26, 2017 • Secretary-General, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Secretary-General António Guterres, encouraged by the United States, has embarked on new reforms, so it is appropriate to scrutinize their policy content. Are they meaningful or are they hollow? With all due respect to the secretary-general of the United Nations, these are for the most part hollow reforms. They have the scent of snake...

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    New Wine in Old Bottles: Germany and Conflict Prevention at the UN

    by  • September 15, 2017 • Secretary-General, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    BERLIN — Just as Germany’s run for a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2019-20 term is gathering steam, its government has published a new white paper, titled “Preventing Crises, Managing Conflicts, Building Peace.” In this release, Germany promises to become more active in the mostly civilian aspects of conflict...

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    Has Anyone Seen the UN Secretary-General’s Human Rights Agenda?

    by  • August 22, 2017 • Human Rights, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Secretary-General António Guterres has set about modernizing some sectors of the United Nations and made impassioned statements about the need to protect human rights. But beyond rhetoric, so far there has been no indication of his modernizing the human-rights sector. We have seen this before. Dag Hammarskjold, a previous secretary-general, undoubtedly believed in human...

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    To Make a Bigger Impact, the UN Refugee Agency Needs a Crisis Fund

    by  • August 11, 2017 • Refugees, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is facing the largest refugee crisis since its inception. The agency, which was created to respond to the overwhelming number of refugees after World War II, has seen its mandate expand while its resources have stayed flat. A funding reform that gives the agency the autonomy and...

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    Warning: Too Much Reliance on Data Can Undermine the UN’s SDGs

    by  • July 26, 2017 • Development, Sustainable Development Goals, WORLDVIEWS • 

    At the United Nations, the buzz around a “data revolution” has taken the role of numeric indicators to new heights. Once thought to be a technical issue for statisticians, data questions were a recurring theme in conversations among the thousands of politicians, officials, activists and researchers who gathered in mid-July at the UN’s High-Level...

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    Females Exposed to Nuclear Radiation Are Far Likelier Than Males to Suffer Harm

    by  • July 5, 2017 • Disabilities, Gender-Based Violence, Health and Population, Nuclear Disarmament, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    The new nuclear weapons ban treaty, to be most likely adopted by the United Nations General Assembly this week, arises from hope for our future. The negotiations for the treaty have elevated new information about the damage from ionizing radiation to the world stage. That is exactly where it needs to be heard. More...

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    How Can CUNY and the UN Revolutionize Education for All? By Working Together

    by  • July 4, 2017 • Education, Sustainable Development Goals, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    An important meeting on global education with a dozen education ministers from across the world was held at the United Nations headquarters last week. As the meeting unfolded, we were sitting in our office a few miles away, across the East River in Brooklyn, at the New York City College of Technology, part of...

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    Despite the Terrorist Attack on Our Beloved Malian Resort, We Will Come Back

    by  • June 24, 2017 • Africa, Peace and Security, Terrorism, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    It always took me ages to hit the road to the Kangaba camp. Leaving downtown Bamako can be tricky, especially if your place is baco fé — on the far bank of the Niger River — as they say in Bambara, the local language. The traffic is a nightmare. On weekends, dozens of old yellow...

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    US Supreme Court Bars Discrimination Against Unwed Fathers, Rejecting Stereotypes

    by  • June 21, 2017 • Human Rights, Sustainable Development Goals, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Unwed fathers and mothers may not be treated differently in determining whether their children born overseas can claim American citizenship, the United States Supreme Court has recently ruled. This means that all children born to an unmarried American parent, whether it is a father or a mother, must now be treated the same. The...

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