Pressures Mount for Deeper Investigations Into the UN Trade Group

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, riven internally by disputes over its mission and future direction, may be in trouble. Faced with questions about its basic competence from board members and outside investigators, accusations have been gathering about unsatisfactory statistical work and laxity in meeting UN standards and regulations for spending reports by … Read more

Charting Human Rights in a Dramatic New Way

What if we lived in a world where countries competed to see which ones treated their citizens best — in a race to the top, Olympian style? Now there’s a way to get started. A project called the Human Rights Measurement Initiative has launched metrics and tools to track the performance of more than 140 countries, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

UN Depository Libraries Are Facing Severe Problems

BERLIN — Since 1946, the United Nations Depository Library Program — consisting now of more than 360 depository libraries in more than 130 countries — has provided scholars, journalists, politicians, diplomats and the broader public with access to what is called the “UN deposit.” That is, print copies of UN documents (official texts of the … Read more

Can $600 Billion in Climate Funds Be Raised in the Next Six Years?

A relatively upbeat joint report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of developed countries, and the independent Climate Policy Initiative shows that the international campaign to finance projects to halt or to adapt to damaging climate changes is headed in the right direction. The just-released survey covering 2013 and 2014, updated … Read more

 

Industrial Mining: A Wild Frontier in Need of Monitoring

Extracting minerals from the earth is a messy, albeit lucrative business, and the disputes that plague the industry tend to be equally challenging. As the center of international trading of mining company stocks, London is regarded by some watchdog groups as a hub of multinational mining companies that they say tends to disregard the environment … Read more

The General Assembly Blesses a New Set of Universal Development Goals

A schoolgirl in northern Nigeria

For some time, it seemed that United Nations debates over a new set of 15-year global development goals would last nearly as long as the goals themselves. But nearly three years of formal, informal and “informal informal” negotiations finally came to a close on Aug. 2, with agreement by General Assembly consensus on this hugely … Read more

Clinging to Coal: A New Report Belabors Increasing Use by Many Nations

SHANGHAI — Coal use by some of the world’s most advanced societies — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, known as the Group of 7 — has been increasing deaths and disease globally, Oxfam International, a consortium of 17 affiliates fighting poverty, found recently in a report titled “Let Them Eat … Read more

Where’s the Money? Funds for Millennium Development Goals Lag

Garbage dump in Bamako, Mali

With 827 days to go until the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals — the United Nations’ flagship agenda for global development — the buzzword at the General Assembly’s annual opening debate in New York this week was “acceleration.” A clear sense of urgency dominated many talks, particularly as the world body prepares to draw … Read more

 

Illegal Gold Mining Runs Rampant in Eastern Congo

Internally displaced people in Congo

Gold is now one of the most problematic conflict minerals in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and United Nations Security Council sanctions on the illegal mining of natural resources, including gold, have done little to prevent smugglers from profiting, says a new report from a German foundation. The foundation, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, is a … Read more

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