UN Migrant Compact, Shunned by Trump, Is Likely to Win World’s Support

As images circulate worldwide of American tear gas enveloping would-be asylum seekers on its Mexican border and of terrified faces of children being snatched from their parents by United States patrols, a United Nations-sponsored pact on orderly migration is expected to win near-universal approval and even gain support at a global conference in December. The … Read more

Where Refugee Scholars, Artists and Activists Find Safety and Thrive

Ahmad Sadiddin was an agronomist in a region that history books call the Fertile Crescent, an arc around the eastern Mediterranean where settled farming began in ancient times. Iraq and Syria were once part of that productive land before it was torn apart by the horrors of dictatorship, civil wars and the reductionism and destruction … Read more

 

GEOPOLITICS

Pressures Mount for UN to Create a Probe Into Khashoggi Murder

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, right, with Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, Nov. 19, 2018

Secretary-General António Guterres is now the focus of concerted demands for the United Nations to establish an independent international tribunal to investigate the brutal murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. International action has been stymied amid changing accounts from the Saudis, uncertainty over which party … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women’s Rights Predicted to Advance in New US Congress

The results of the recent United States elections raise hopes for women’s rights. At least 100 women, among them young liberals who defeated incumbent men, will hold nearly a quarter of the seats in the House of Representatives when a new Congress opens in early January. Two women are Muslim-American and two are Native Americans, … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Numbers Are People: Where Will They Be in 2050?   

Right now, the population of the world is growing, paradoxically, at both ends of the age spectrum, for different reasons and with different results. In the developed world, the widely reported concern is that fewer births, and longer lives among the old, whose numbers are rising, will altogether wreak havoc on social security and health … Read more

UN Agencies Back Asylum Rights of Central American Migrants in Exodus to US

Working closely with Mexico, United Nations agencies are providing food and other necessities to thousands of migrants from Central America who are walking or riding in any vehicle they can find toward the United States. There, they are seeking asylum but face threats from the Trump administration. The president vows that the migrants, still hundreds … Read more

 

GOINGS-ON

Trump Names a UN Critic to the Organization’s Crucial Contributions Panel

Brett Schaefer, a fellow in international regulatory affairs at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy research organization in Washington, D.C., has been nominated by the White House to serve as a member on the United Nations committee on contributions, which advises the General Assembly on apportioning dues that countries pay to the UN’s budget. The … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Abortion, Fertility and Women’s Rights: Where the UN & US Diverge

If it had not been for the disruption of Donald Trump’s appearances in the United Nations the last week of September, more attention might have been devoted to an international day of advocacy for safe abortion, on Sept. 28, arranged by more than 1,200 organizations. A woman’s right to choose has few more powerful political … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

South Asian Health Care’s Dismal World Ranking

A health care worker in Pakistan

South Asia, a vast region stretching from Bangladesh to Afghanistan, has produced and exported respected medical professionals, research findings and innovations with universal reach. The poor record in domestic health care in almost every one of the seven countries in the region is a different story. The British medical journal The Lancet reopened discussion this … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Nations Face an Era of Chaos as Trump Offends the World at the UN

The UN audience could only gasp when Donald Trump made his stormy debut in the United Nations General Assembly in 2017 as president of the United States. This year they laughed in his face. The gap between the US and the rest of the world has demonstrably widened under the Trump administration, and this phenomenon … Read more

 

GEOPOLITICS

The UN Shudders as ‘Trump Week’ Closes In

A year after his bombastic debut at the United Nations as president of the United States, Donald Trump returns on Monday, Sept. 24, to lead a US effort to spur global action to stem the narcotics and opioid plagues. Could the US be asking the UN for help this time? The morning meeting on drugs … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Kashmir’s Long Tragedy Rears Its Head in the News and at the UN

In his final months in office as United Nations high commissioner for human rights, the outspoken Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein did what no former holder of that office would or could do: he issued a blistering report on Indian abuses in the disputed territory of Kashmir. It is a story that Indian governments have long tried … Read more

TOPIC: INDIA

The Heart of Ethnic Cleansing Has Moved to India

Harsh Mander had barely arrived in the remote northeastern Indian state of Assam when he was drawn into a humanitarian horror story years in the making. It was about to get exponentially worse. “The people of Assam are sitting atop a smoldering volcano, one that threatens to erupt into catastrophic suffering and injustice,” he wrote … Read more

Kofi Annan, 80, a Popular UN Secretary-General From Africa, Is Dead

Kofi Annan, the seventh and probably the most popular and widely respected secretary-general the United Nations has ever known, died unexpectedly in Bern, Switzerland, early on Saturday morning, Aug. 18. His death, reportedly from leukemia, followed what initial reports described only as a short illness. He led the UN for two terms, from 1997 through … Read more

 

TAKE A LOOK

Two Health Alerts: Resurgent Polio and Antibiotic Resistance

Recent research reports published by The Lancet could make a lot of people rethink the assumption that once a disease has been declared eradicated, that’s it. Done. A recent resurge in cases of polio in several countries and concern in Europe that antibiotic resistance is being bought there by refugees and migrants are becoming global … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Hungary Forbids Gender Studies, Enraging Academics

In the doldrums of a European summer, when many universities are mostly closed or short-staffed, the populist Hungarian government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban sent a directive to higher-education institutions on Aug. 9 forbidding the teaching of gender studies. Hungarian academicians, faculties outside the country as well as civil society organizations reacted quickly, calling for … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Michelle Bachelet of Chile Nominated to Be Next UN Rights Commissioner

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has nominated Michelle Bachelet, a former president of Chile, to become the next UN high commissioner for human rights. The nomination has been sent to the General Assembly for approval. Bachelet, who is 66, was Guterres’s top choice all along in the selection process, which began informally in the spring, … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Once Again, Haley Accuses Others for US Failure at Rights Council Reform

In the middle of last week, when the Trump administration was still unable to say how it “lost” more than 2,500 children torn from their asylum-seeking parents at the border with Mexico, Nikki Haley, the United States envoy to the United Nations, was telling a different story to a sympathetic group in Washington, D.C. “We … Read more

 

UN to Rohingya: You Can’t Go Home Safely Any Time Soon

Among refugee advocates there  has been a growing concern that recent agreements among regional governments and the United Nations on a framework for mitigating the Rohingya crisis could prompt at least some of the million-plus people who have fled the deadly military pogrom in Myanmar to consider risking a return to try to rebuild their … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Tough Times for Legislators as More Women and Youth Still Fall Short

Marking the first International Day of Parliamentarians on June 28, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, representing legislators in 173 countries, reported that serious challenges are emerging as antidemocratic forces playing on public apathy increase. In a survey of legislatures worldwide in 2018, “Are Parliamentary Democracies in Danger?” the global parliamentary union finds huge challenges to these institutions. … Read more

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