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

WORLDVIEWS

New US Policies on Visas Can Hurt Same-Sex Couples at the UN

The recent decision by the United States State Department requiring all foreign nationals working in America for international organizations, including the United Nations, to be married in order for their same-sex spouses to receive a derivative visa, called the G-4, increases the challenges faced by LGBTIQ+ couples in same-sex relationships. This much is clear. Under … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Is Under Siege, So Where Is the Secretary-General?

Was it only two years ago that so many people were elated by the appointment of António Guterres as secretary-general of the United Nations? After public debates organized by the president of the General Assembly and informal ones by the 1-for-7-Billion “Find the Best UN Leader” coalition, he emerged as the top candidate in the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Mission in Lebanon, Saved From the US Ax for Another Year

BEIRUT — In late August, the United Nations Security Council unanimously renewed its peacekeeping operation in southern Lebanon, called Unifil. The less confrontational tone around the negotiation of Resolution 2433, contrasting with the heated debate on the renewal a year ago, can be read as a positive sign for Lebanon and the UN. It represents … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The US vs. Unrwa: Who Really Loses?

It is entirely the United States’ prerogative to cut off its voluntary contributions to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or Unrwa. In her statements about why the Trump administration has decided to do so, however, Ambassador Nikki Haley misses the mark on who should be grateful for … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Devastating Decline of Human-Rights Justice Across the World

The soul of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being destroyed with the disappearance of human-rights justice in the world. Everyone should be concerned if not frightened. The appointment of Michelle Bachelet of Chile as UN high commissioner for human rights, who has personally experienced injustice, offers hope that her voice will be … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

No Justice for Yazidi Women Yet: Why Not?

It has been four years since ISIS launched its genocidal assault on the Yazidi community in the Middle East. ISIS fighters have faced terrorism charges in Iraq and abroad, yet not a single ISIS fighter has been prosecuted for, much less convicted of, genocide. For the Yazidis, justice remains out of reach. In light of … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Violence Against Women Worsens by the Day in the Congo

Justine Bihamba

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been placed on the United Nations Security Council agenda for several decades, in one form or another through various peacekeeping missions. The Council regularly meets on the status of the Congo, with the most recent session occurring on July 26, 2018, concentrating on progress toward scheduled presidential and legislative … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Secretary-General’s Human-Rights Crisis Can Be Solved

There is a crisis in the United Nations human-rights system. Secretary-General António Guterres can lead the way out of it. Indeed, the world continues to look to the UN secretary-general to stand up for the principles of the organization. One of the highest responsibilities of the incumbent is to help steer a course toward realizing … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Do We Even Need the UN? An Academic’s Quest to Find the Answer

Would the world be better off without the United Nations? The question couldn’t be more important in the age of Trump and his rejection of multilateral institutions as well as traditional allies. Thomas G. Weiss, Presidential Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York Graduate Center, took on this question, speaking extensively … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN’s Emphasis on Prevention Could Use Lessons From the Case of Guinea

Historically neglected, gender-based violence is now becoming broadly recognized as a legitimate and urgent agenda item among the United Nations member nations, notably in the UN’s most powerful forum, the Security Council. But the future of the agenda is uncertain, as priorities remain unclear and inadequate methods for preventing sexual violence against women keep us … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Brazil Can Lead the Way on Managing the World’s Refugee Crisis

RIO DE JANEIRO — Only weeks from the start of the 2018 World Cup, soccer teams of refugees from Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Angola, Burkina Faso and Gambia who had migrated to Brazil became the protagonists in a recent soccer competition: the Multicultural Cup, organized by Instituto Adus, a nongovernmental organization, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

To Help the World Sleep Better, Salvage the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

If United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo follows through with his threat to impose “the strongest sanctions in history” on Iran, the United States should be prepared for Iran to retaliate by withdrawing from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Last month, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN’s Cruz Report on Improving Peacekeepers’ Security Goes Too Far

Since 1999, the United Nations Security Council has consistently entrusted its peacekeeping operations with clear authority to use force beyond self-defense — primarily for the protection of civilians. To fulfill the mandate, the Council expects UN peacekeeping forces to take preventive as well as responsive actions; to proactively patrol the local communities; to project a strong … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN and #MeToo: All Forms of Abuse Must End Now

For many years now, media attention on sexual abuse and exploitation by United Nations peacekeepers cornered the UN and pushed it toward reform. Now, the #MeToo movement has put the organization — and many other major institutions across the world — on red alert. But UN insiders and supporters are wondering if the leadership’s rush … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Why Syria Will Need a UN Peacekeeping Force (Called Unshams)

After seven years of horrific fighting, it appears that the Syrian civil war is inching toward a conclusion. In the wake of recent alleged chemical attacks unleashed in Eastern Ghouta, Bashar al-Assad’s regime is squeezing remaining rebel forces, largely herding them — and thousands of civilians — into the northwest in Idlib Province, where an … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Prisoners’ Human Rights: A Seriously Forgotten Problem in Britain?

NOTTINGHAM, England — Prisoner rights are not a popular topic either in the hallowed halls of the British Parliament or in the public domain in Britain. Aside from the standard “tough on crime” approach that most governments adopt as a go-to populist policy, there is little if any attention paid to people in our population … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Can the UN Finally Get Serious About Inefficiencies in Its Development System?

BONN, Germany — Member states of the United Nations are now negotiating reform proposals for the world body’s development system. In the latest draft resolution, they welcome the secretary-general’s proposal for “advancing common business operations” and “request” for their “implementation,” in line with earlier decisions by the General Assembly (a previous draft requested “full implementation”). This … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Dead?

When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted 70 years ago, the hopes of its drafters and of people across the globe was that it would help transform the world into a place of freedom and justice. Sadly, the declaration is now being challenged as it has never been before. This leads to pondering about … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

With UN Security Council Reform, Bigger Is Not Better

Much ado — during 25 years of fruitless negotiations — has been made about the need for the United Nations General Assembly to achieve more equitable geographical representation in the UN Security Council. Article 23(1) of the UN Charter, however, also requires the Assembly, in electing the nonpermanent members of the Council, to pay due … Read more

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