GOINGS-ON

In Their Own Words: A UN Oral History Project Moves Online

What goes on inside the United Nations as important issues are hashed out by officials and diplomats is rarely seen or heard by outsiders – consider the tense negotiations on Syria right now, done behind closed doors. But earlier this month, the opening of an archive of interviews with both insiders and others who have … Read more

Unsafe Abortions Add to Global Maternal Deaths

Nearly half the abortions that take place worldwide are now unsafe, with women in parts of Africa and Latin America faring the worst, a new report by the World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute in New York says. A staggering 97 percent of abortions in Africa — 100 percent in regions across central and … Read more

The Responsibility to Protect Gets a Checkup

When the carnage of the 1990s wound down, with more than a million people dead in massacres and brutal ethnic or political wars in and around Rwanda, the Balkans and elsewhere, nations that had failed to act to stop such tragedies began seeking ways to prevent future catastrophes. From this terrible decade, the long-postponed creation … Read more

Population Growth Threatens the Poorest

On the heels of the United Nations’ announcement that the global population crossed the 7 billion mark on Oct. 31, a timely report from the organization’s population division has broken down that big number to document where most births are taking place and the stresses they add to life among the world’s poorest people. While … Read more

Quietly, New US Policies Align With the UN

On Dec. 16, without fanfare, President Barack Obama issued an executive orderestablishing for the first time a global American policy to advance women’s roles in making and keeping peace. The absence or marginalization of women from international security affairs has been a cause of much United Nations attention for more than a decade, right up … Read more

A Story From Nagaland

It is a very long trip to the Indian Northeast, a singular region connected to the rest of the country by a mere strip of land that skirts Bangladesh. Few foreigners go to the area or get to know its ethnically distinct people. So for Athili Sapriina, a local human-rights advocate, it was also a … Read more

National Lawmakers Want More Contact With the General Assembly

They would seem, logically, to be natural partners: delegates in the United Nations General Assembly and members of parliaments in capitals around the world who have the power to monitor and follow up on the assembly’s decisions. But when scores of national legislators from dozens of countries met in New York on Nov. 28 and … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Top US Official at the UN to Leave Post

B. Lynn Pascoe, an American diplomat who has served as under secretary-general for political affairs during Ban Ki-moon’s first term, is leaving that key position early in the new year, as the secretary-general reshapes his senior team for his second five-year term beginning on Jan.1. The first announcement of pending changes at the top of … Read more

Regional Partners Lighten the UN’s Burdens

Since the founding of the United Nations more than 65 years ago, groups of regional nations – in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas – have become the organization’s political, peacekeeping and development partners. While some of these groups have kept a low profile, several now find themselves in the international spotlight as crucial issues … Read more

More Refugees Flee the Horn of Africa for Yemen

In the Horn of Africa, where drought and political violence have already cost thousands of lives this year, desperate people are turning to the sea to escape intolerable conditions all around them. They are landing by the thousands in the dangerous chaos of Yemen. In October alone, more than 12,000 people, mostly from Somalia and … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Unesco Honors Five Women for Scientific Research

Scientists from Australia, Mexico, South Africa, Britain and the United States working in research fields connected to health issues have been chosen the 2012 winners of the Women in Science Award given jointly by Unesco and the L’Oreal cosmetics company. The scientists who were chosen, each to receive a $100,000 prize, were selected by an … Read more

GOINGS-ON

There’s Another Court in The Hague

Government suppression of revolts in several Arab nations and violence and rights abuses in some parts of Africa have drawn increased attention to the International Criminal Court, the first such permanent tribunal created to try individuals for war crimes, genocide and other gross violations. Less attention is paid to another permanent court in The Hague, … Read more

A Man for the Moment in the Middle East

Nabil Elaraby is a name to remember as crisis builds in Syria and citizens in other countries in the Arab world worry about where their hard-won revolutions are taking them. Elaraby, a 76-year-old Egyptian diplomat, is secretary-general of the Arab League, a position he has held for less than five months. But his impact on … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Tibetan Buddhists Mistreated by Chinese, Rights Experts Say

Six United Nations experts on human rights issues have faulted China for what they call “severe human rights restrictions” on Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Sichuan Province, where monks and nuns have been protesting, some setting themselves on fire. The monasteries are outside Tibet proper, where Buddhist opposition has simmered for decades after a Chinese military … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Thailand Gets UN Help in Tracking Flood Crisis

For decades, Southeast Asia has been seeking better systems to monitor and deal with natural disasters, a subject that got a lot of renewed attention after the Asian tsunami in the waning days of 2004 caused more than 275,000 confirmed deaths in the Indian Ocean region, 4,800 in Thailand alone, including a grandson of the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Saving the Troubled Khmer Rouge Tribunal

[This essay was updated on Nov. 23, 2011] The United Nations sent its top legal official to Cambodia this week in a belated effort to deal directly with the threatened implosion of a war crimes tribunal charged with bringing to trial leaders of the apocalyptic Communist regime that presided over the deaths of at least … Read more

GOINGS-ON

First Global Human Rights Survey Completed

When the Human Rights Council was created in 2006 to replace the woeful Human Rights Commission, one novelty assigned to the new body was the Universal Periodic Review, which would, over a period of four years, methodically assess the rights records of all UN member nations for the first time. On Oct.13, the process was … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Where Murder Rates Soar

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported in early October that young men are most at risk of becoming victims of homicide in the Caribbean-Central American region and central and southern Africa. Women in those regions are at high risk of death in domestic violence. The agency’s Global Study on Homicide puts the blame … Read more

Nations Are Failing to Support UN Women Financially

  The world is letting down the newest and most promising agency created by the United Nations to raise the status of women, a key to more effective antipoverty programs and economic development. When UN Women was created by the General Assembly in July 2010, there were high hopes that it would have a billion-dollar … Read more

 

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