Strongmen to Kick Off the UN General Assembly Session in September

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil with President Donald Trump

Donald Trump will shake hands with Emmanuel Macron, Jair Bolsonaro and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. But will Benjamin Netanyahu; Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel be there, too? The 74th opening debate of the United Nations General Assembly, which lasts a few weeks, starts on Sept.17; the general debate begins on Sept. 24. With most member states … Read more

The Climate Is on the Loose, Especially in Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands — Record heat waves have crippled a number of cities this summer, one most visibly the Netherlands’ second largest, Rotterdam. Experts point to climate change. According to new data widely reported from the World Meteorological Organization and Copernicus Climate Change Program, July equaled if not surpassed the hottest month in recorded history … Read more

As the SDGs Falter, the UN Turns to the Rich and Famous

Amina Mohammed with Borge Brende, António Guterres and Klaus Schwab

The Sustainable Development Goals are in trouble. United Nations officials are concerned and say so publicly. Secretary-General António Guterres  joined in raising an alarm in mid-July when he introduced the most recent official UN report. “It is abundantly clear that a much deeper, faster and more ambitious response is needed to unleash the social and … Read more

At Norway’s New Mission to the UN, a Love for Nature Revealed

Moments after entering the Norwegian consulate and mission to the United Nations in New York, you may be surprised to hear a hum of varying tones. It’s the sound of a hanging textile piece that a Norwegian artist, Pearla Pigao, wove with conductive copper thread and connected to an oscillator that detects electric currents. It … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

Climate Change and Risk of Conflict: The Links Grow Clearer

There is growing evidence that climate change can increase the risks of conflict and violence. When government authorities are unable or unwilling to mitigate and adapt to climate shocks such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts, these extreme weather events are more likely to be followed by surges in crime, including homicide, robbery and sexual violence. … Read more

Together, the Caribbean Confronts a Major Problem: Climate Threats

GOSIER, Guadeloupe — The Caribbean islands, though culturally and linguistically diverse and differing government systems, are coming together to confront the climate changes that threaten their rich tropical environment and the livelihoods of their people. Seas are warming and acidifying, reducing fish catches, while on land water shortages are being recorded in recent droughts. Sargassum … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Security Council Presidency: Two Old Friends, France and Germany, Now Share an Office

As a united front in the fight to preserve the European Union, France and Germany are about to gain a global audience. During March and April, their top United Nations ambassadors, François Delattre and Christoph Heusgen, will take turns — in alphabetical order — presiding over the Security Council, marking the first time for twin Council … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

10 Ways to Push the Climate Change and Conflict Agenda, Despite the Deniers

THE HAGUE — It is now well documented that global warming is a multiplier of insecurity and conflict, but holding debates on the topic presents ever-more complex challenges as multilateralism and climate change are increasingly questioned if not dismissed by some of the world’s top leaders and biggest polluting nations. In that light, here are … Read more

 

Climate Talks Bypass the Poorest, Who Endure Polluted Homes

Today and every day around the world, in bleak rural villages and the poorest urban neighborhoods, millions of people are igniting small fires to cook their meager meals, brighten dark homes or scare away intruders at night. The number of people using small fires is not small. Climate scientists estimate that three billion people in … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

To Save the Earth, Deepen Incentives for a Carbon-Free World

When United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres spoke passionately about the frightening prospect of a climate catastrophe recently, he called it “the defining issue of our time.” Everything in his powerful speech was backed by science. Yet, because secretaries-general cannot say everything, it was incomplete. What Guterres did not say is that global warming is the flip side of … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Europe and Others Help Fund the UN Palestinian Agency, Filling US Void

The European Union, Germany, Norway, Ireland and Kuwait stepped in this week to donate a total of $118 million in financing to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (Unrwa), after the United States cut $304 million of its annual support to the agency for this year. The … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Sweden’s Priorities in the Security Council: Being Prepared, Including for the World Cup

Welcome to our new column, Security Council Presidency, providing insight into the United Nations Security Council member sitting in the rotating seat of the president every month, starting in July with Sweden and its ambassador, Olof Skoog. The column is meant to be an informative capsule of not only the country’s ambassador but also the … Read more

 

TAKE A LOOK

Europe’s Contraception Gaps: They May Be Wider Than You Think

It is a continent where almost half of the pregnancies are unplanned, where government agencies do not provide enough information on available contraception, where geography is destiny for those needing reliable family planning advice. This is not a developing region, but 21st-century Europe, according to the recently published 2018 Contraception Atlas. The atlas, presented in … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Zimbabwe Stuck With a Health Crisis Left by Mugabe Era

Robert Mugabe, the only head of state that Zimbabwe had known since independence in 1980, was forced out of office by an unexpected coup in November 2017, and citizens of the economically battered country are now forced to tally the costs of his dictatorship. One of them is a health system in collapse. A report … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

‘Period Poverty’: Why No One Is Talking About Eco-Friendly Solutions

The United Nations has recognized menstrual hygiene as a global public health and human-rights issue, yet across the world, “period poverty,” as some call it, is the reality for millions of women and girls. In India, for example, it is estimated that only 12 percent of the country’s 355 million menstruating women can afford to … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Americans Want an Active Role in the World, Contrary to Trump’s Actions, a Poll Finds

  In the first week of November, more than 200 Americans who had been the beneficiaries of Fulbright international exchanges over many years went to the United States Congress to lobby members from across the country. They were asking their state representatives and senators not to strip the iconic, but now endangered, program of full … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

As UN Climate Talks Convene, the Earth Veers Toward Catastrophe

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 are … Read more

Getting to Know Mediterranean Farmers: Agritourism Hits Sicily

BELPASSO, Italy — The Oasi di Francesca farm-stay hotel is situated in an unlikely spot here in Sicily, about a kilometer from an Italian naval air base and a half hour to the large port city of Catania in the east, facing the Ionian Sea. Among the acres of low-lying artichoke plants — as well … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Paris Pact Staying Alive: Christiana Figueres’s New Role and More Data on Climate Change

Christiana Figueres, who piloted the Paris Agreement on Climate Change through years of negotiations to success in December 2015, will become chair of The Lancet Countdown’s high-level advisory board, the British medical publication announced recently. The Countdown project was established in November 2016 to monitor the effects of climate change on health and track progress … Read more

BOOKS

America’s Pledge to the Paris Agreement Doesn’t Hinge on Washington

When Donald Trump, defying science and public opinion, reversed American policy and announced in June that the United States would leave the universally endorsed 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, his decision may have given more impetus to a growing trend away from reliance on shortsighted national politicians. In country after country, the focus is … Read more

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