GEOPOLITICS

Top Sellers of Weapons to the Developing World in 2015? US and France

Sanaa Yemen families the day after an airstrike

A responsibility to promote worldwide cooperation toward peace and security is not the only role that the permanent-five veto-wielding powers in the United Nations Security Council have in common. Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are also the world’s largest exporters of conventional weapons to developing countries. The export of weapons by the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

One Year Old, the Arms Trade Treaty Gains Traction

Important changes may not happen overnight, but they do happen, and progress made on the Arms Trade Treaty in the last year is an example of how political will can work toward the common good. Today, 18 countries are ratifying the treaty as part of a joint ceremony being held at the UN to mark … Read more

The Woman Who Opened Syria for UN Inspectors

Angela Kane, UN high representative for disarmament affairs

Angela Kane has covered a lot of territory for the United Nations, but one of her toughest jobs in a career spanning more than three decades may be negotiating with Syria to begin the still-uncertain process of destroying the chemical weapons that President Bashar al-Assad only recently denied he had. “It wasn’t easy,” Kane said … Read more

Will The New York Times Fill Its Press Seat at the UN?

Wreath-laying Ceremony marking 10th anniversary of UN Baghdad bombing.

Neil MacFarquhar, who has been the United Nations bureau chief of The New York Times since June 2008, has left the post to move to Moscow, where he will continue to report for the paper. MacFarquhar, who covered the UN during the first and current term of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a Korean, reported on a … Read more

 

Make Peace Not War, Activists Push at the UN

Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize laureate

  A lifeless baby lies on the ground. Half of a woman’s face has been blown off. A mother screams in a hospital after losing her son because of inadequate medication. A text fills the big white screen: global military spending amounts to $1.7 trillion a year. Less than a fifth of that would pay … Read more

Japan’s Take on Peace, Human Rights and the UN

Tsuneo Nishida, Japanese ambassador to the UN

Tsuneo Nishida, the Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, spoke recently on his country’s positions on peace and security, disarmament, human rights and UN reform. Japan, which is the world’s third-largest economy and second-biggest contributor (after the United States) to the UN’s general budget, is planning to run for an elected seat on the Security … Read more

The Arms Trade Treaty Attracts 67 Signers So Far

Romanian ambassador to the UN

The creation of the Arms Trade Treaty, which aims to control the international trade of conventional weapons and reduce “human suffering,” marks a solid achievement for the United Nations this year in its primary role of securing peace worldwide. And so it went to great lengths on June 3 to promote the success at special … Read more

The UN Adopts an Arms Treaty ‘With Teeth’

Peter Woolcott, Australia ambassador to the UN

The momentous adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty at the United Nations has been greeted with much enthusiasm worldwide but also strong skepticism as the reality of carrying out its aim — regulating international transfers of conventional arms — sets in. “Effectiveness will be slow as it comes into force,” Peter Woolcott, the permanent representative … Read more

 

Australian Academics Want Women’s Voices Heard at the Security Council

Woman laying out leather

A new network of women academics from Australia and New Zealand is keeping a close eye on Australia’s new two-year term as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council. The academics have organized a collective to track how well the UN’s most powerful body and Australia itself adhere to the landmark Women, Peace … Read more

The Lethal Effects of Arms on Women

Stop rape in conflict event Colombia

­ The $100- to $120-billion international arms trade in 2012 intensified the internal conflicts in Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo but also brought guns into homes in these countries, where men turned them against women. That was the message that the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom brought to an event … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Take Two: Arms Trade Treaty Talks Resume

Control Arms Coalition

The second act of the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations has opened at the United Nations this week. Like any good drama, these talks, which began on March 18, are sure to feature tense moments and plenty of controversy, although many people involved in the process are optimistic that this act will deliver a final agreement. … Read more

Five New Security Council Members, Many New Agendas

UN General Assembly elects nonpermanent Security Council members

As the five newly elected United Nations Security Council members prep for their seats, what will their work look like when they take office Jan. 1 for two years? It’s impossible to predict how the winners – Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea and Rwanda – will fill their nonpermanent seats among Britain, China, France, Russia … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Arms Trade Treaty Must Survive

Eyes on Rights campaign

Nobody ever believed that establishing an international Arms Trade Treaty would be uncomplicated. Discussions taking place this month will determine the treaty’s future through a vote in the United Nations General Assembly next week. The treaty’s draft text was nearly adopted in July by UN member states, but those talks came to an abrupt halt … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Arms Trade Treaty Talks Call a Time-Out

Control Arms Coalition at the Arms Trade Treaty talks

Good things take time. Evidently, 10 years of advocacy efforts led by a group of Nobel laureates and an international nongovernmental organization campaign, five years of consultations and preparatory work and a month of negotiations at the United Nations in New York in July wasn’t quite enough time for the 193 members of the United … Read more

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