New York City and the UN: Cool but Useful Partners

UN entryway

As most people know, the United Nations headquarters rests on a prime slice of New York City real estate along the East River, stretching from East 42nd to East 48th Streets on First Avenue. The UN agreed to adopt the site as its home as a second-best option in 1946, after acquiring a suburban campus … Read more

The Lethal Effects of Arms on Women

Stop rape in conflict event Colombia

­ The $100- to $120-billion international arms trade in 2012 intensified the internal conflicts in Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo but also brought guns into homes in these countries, where men turned them against women. That was the message that the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom brought to an event … Read more

The Masterminds Behind Security Council Resolutions

Security Council Meeting on the situation in Cyprus

The United Nations Security Council bases its resolutions on agenda items as varied as the renewal of a peacekeeping force mandate in Haiti to responding to a missile launching in North Korea. With resolutions’ language often dense legalese that recalls, recognizes, emphasizes, demands and, at times, condemns and deplores the issue at hand, the style … Read more

Gender Parity in Upper-Level UN Jobs Remains Elusive

Ban Ki-moon of the UN

This year, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has so far appointed 55 people to high-level positions. Twelve of the appointees, nearly 22 percent, are women, filling roles like the special representative for children and armed conflict and the executive director of the World Food Program. Some of the people Ban appointed include Zainab Hawa Bangura … Read more

The New Normal? Severe Weather Battering Cities

Flood in Congotown, Liberia

  Latin America and the Caribbean have always faced the threat of hurricane intensely, but with new weather extremes related to climate change occurring amid growing urban populations, the lethal mix is bound to cause more damage and deaths every year. Urban planners are not even close to being prepared. Consider the recent havoc that … Read more

The UN General Assembly Takes Up a Once-Taboo Topic

Nepali woman dancing

  A growing movement within the United Nations to ban female genital mutilation globally has led to the first resolution to be written on the issue in the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which will vote on the matter this month. Two Francophone countries in West Africa, Burkina Faso and Benin, have proposed the draft resolution … Read more

A Former Child Soldier Grows Up in Colombia

Jesus Martinez, former child soldier in Bogota

  BOGOTÁ – Jesús Martínez has money on his mind: his monthly budget of $250, his $75 rent and the $7,500 he will soon receive from the government. Eighteen-year-old Martínez, which is not his real name, never touched a peso until he was 16 and fled the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or the Farc, … Read more

UN Security Council to Study Child Soldier Use in Colombia

BOGOTÁ — Two longstanding Colombian armed groups are cited in the United Nations secretary-general’s annual “list of shame” released this month, enumerating parties who use children in armed conflict, among other related human-rights abuses. The country’s two major antigovernment guerrilla groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc, and the National Liberation Army (Eln), have … Read more

 

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