Airlines Counter Flight Shaming By Lobbying for More Outside Investments

Before the teenage activist Greta Thunberg made headlines with her scathing speech at this year’s United Nations Climate Action Summit, she crossed the Atlantic Ocean by sailboat and entered New York Harbor in lower Manhattan. “I have, since a few years, stopped flying because of the enormous impact aviation has on the climate,” she explained … Read more

At the UN’s Major Climate Event, Greta Thunberg Asks, ‘How Dare You?’

The United Nations Climate Action Summit kicked off in New York with powerfully direct statements by Secretary-General António Guterres and several youths invited to speak in a panel set up in the vast General Assembly Hall. They faced an audience of national leaders gathered from across the world at a conference that was not necessarily … Read more

By Using an Overseas Territory, France Tries to Save the Amazon

President Emmanuel Macron of France is using one of its overseas territory and a former colony, French Guyana, to reinforce France’s intervention in the region to save the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon. The move by France reflects its increasing efforts to expand its influence internationally in highly visible ways. That includes trying to rescue … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women Leaders to Watch at the UN’s Big Meet

Kersti Kaljulaid, the president of Estonia,

Men will dominate the podium during much of the United Nations General Assembly but, as Abigail Adams urged her husband and other founding fathers of the United States in 1776, “remember the ladies.” This is advice that the UN needs to be reminded of — just as the opening session begins, on Sept. 17. Women constitute … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

The UN Headquarters Says Adiós to Single-Use Plastic

People who regularly work or visit the United Nations headquarters in New York have surely noticed something new in the cafeteria this summer: no more single-use plastic, not even for takeout. The change also means that only metal cutlery is available at the condiment stations and the straws are now paper (plastic ones are available … Read more

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 starts on Sept.17 and ends on Sept. 30; the general debate begins on Sept. 24. With most member … 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

 

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