TOPIC: WOMEN

Yikes Again! UN Staffers Protest Wonder Woman’s Role at the UN

Wonder Woman is not so wonderful in the eyes of hundreds of United Nations staff members around the world. Earlier this week, a petition began circulating among personnel to ask their boss, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to rescind the choice of the cartoon character, whose main uniform is a bustier and high heels, as an honorary … Read more

Ban Ki-moon’s Turbulent UN Years, in His Own Words

Ban Ki-moon receives the Seoul Peace Prize in South Korea on Oct. 29, 2012, with his wife, Yoo Soon-taek.

With a cease-fire in Syria collapsing around him and bombs destroying precious relief supplies intended for the hungry, traumatized survivors of relentless government attacks on the once grand city of Aleppo, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used his last speech to open a UN General Assembly debating season to lash out at the government of … Read more

Ruth Messinger: A ‘Global Ambassador’ Pushing for Women’s Progress

In the political annals of New York, the 1990s boasted a strong presence of women not only in government but also at the United Nations. One such woman, Ruth Messinger, served as Manhattan borough president from 1990 to 1998, with time out in 1997 to run for mayor of New York City on the Democratic … Read more

Failing Public Schools Spur Global Boom in Private Education

Chinese Children

While governments bask in data showing that the development goal of universal access to primary education has largely been achieved, attention is turning to what that really means in the classroom. Educators and human-rights advocates question whether acceptable standards are being met in many schools, as evidence mounts of the proliferation of private education in … Read more

 

In an Aging Global Population, Women Want Productive Lives

Census figures everywhere confirm that the population of the world is getting steadily older. Much has been written and alarms have been sounded in richer nations about the economic effects of aging populations and declining births. But this phenomenon is going global. Better health and smaller family size are prolonging lives in developing countries as … Read more

The European Migrant Crisis: Can Development Agencies Do Better?

The unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants to Europe has increased the visibility of the longstanding nexus of migration, development and security. The emphasis on terrorism and national security is understandable but myopic if the essential benefits of migration and development are to be realized. The United Nations will host three key meetings on migration … Read more

A New Commission to Focus on Women’s Rights Gaps in the Global Goals

A respected medical journal and a leading American population research and policy organization have teamed up to create a commission to fill gaps and turn vague promises in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into real gains for women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. The initiative, sponsored by the London-based journal The Lancet and … Read more

All in Africa: The World’s 13 Highest-Mortality Countries

M'Poko camp in Central African Republic

Despite remarkable reductions in mortality, 13 sub-Saharan African countries — 1 out of every 20 people in the world — have yet to achieve life expectancies at birth of 55 years, the global average attained a half century ago. These highest-mortality countries, with Somalia leading the list, are more than 15 years behind the world’s … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

From the Congo to the UN: ‘Hear the Cries of Women and Girls’

Julienne Lusenge, a Congolese, founded women's groups in her country to help women and girls recover from years of conflict and to inform them about their rights.

In the developed world, women fought and struggled to gain their rights and eventually created a space in which these rights could be expressed. Violence does indeed occur in the developed world, but it cannot be compared to what is happening in countries that are plagued with persistent, systematic conflict. Women in the developed world … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Gender Equality Gaps Across Borders Tell a Disturbing Story

Achieving gender equality is a commendable goal and has been incorporated in the 17 recently adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Gender equality, however, should not be used to detract from efforts to improve the equality of women and men across countries rather than just inside countries. Indeed, differences between men and women in key … Read more

Finding True Power for Women and Girls: The UN Goals’ Toughest Task

Challenged by the staggering agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to abolish most of the world’s ills within 15 years, research organizations, advocacy groups and objective demographers had begun to do the math well before the goals were adopted globally in September 2015. Success or failure rests on complex equations with interlinked or competing … Read more

More Revelations on Former UN General Assembly Leader Facing Criminal Charges

Only weeks before John Ashe, the former president of the United Nations General Assembly, was arrested for tax fraud amid a bribery scandal uncovered by the United States government, Ashe was tapped to potentially take an important job in Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s office in New York. Ashe, who was an ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda … Read more

 

Can the UN’s SDGs Live Up to the Hype?

When the United Nations’ member states gave final approval at a special General Assembly session on Sept. 25 to the new global development policy, they were making a commitment to the most wide-ranging and ambitious plan ever attempted by the organization. Now the hard part begins as experts struggle to decide how to measure the … Read more

The Heart of Pope Francis’s Speech at the UN: Don’t Look Past the Poor

Pope Francis spread his gospel of not forgetting the poor at the United Nations on Friday morning, where he spoke in his native Spanish to the 193 member delegations and heads of state gathered before him at the General Assembly Hall. It was his first appearance at the UN during his first trip to the … Read more

The Situation for Women and Girls Around the World? Stark.

As the United Nations prepares to formally accept the new Sustainable Development Goals at midday at a summit meeting on Friday, here is a close look at one of the main resources that helped inform the long debate on creating the goals — the UN Development Program’s Human Development Report for 2014. What do the … Read more

Gauging Food Security in the US as UN Adopts the SDGs

In a first, the Sustainable Development Goals will be applied to rich as well as poorer countries, a fundamental break with the Millennium Development Goals, which were focused on developing nations. By coincidence, the United States Department of Agriculture released its measures of American food security among its low-income population in early September, just before … Read more

 

Rights of Girls, a Politically Loaded Issue, May Sink in the New UN Development Goals

When member countries of the United Nations agreed to the Millennium Development Goals 15 years ago, advocates for stronger rights for women and girls were disappointed as governments (and the Vatican) balked at reasserting the bold promises of the international conferences of the 1990s in Cairo and in Beijing. Later campaigns, inside and outside the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Peace Wins a Place in Several New UN Development Goals

A key new element in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that will be adopted formally in late September at the United Nations is the inclusion of goals and targets that go beyond the traditional development objectives of the Millennium Development Goals and address social transformation more broadly. In particular, the new framework singles out … Read more

Can New UN Goals Put an End to Filthy Air in Beijing and Delhi?

Remarkably after a yearlong effort by environmental health advocates, air quality has been embedded in the new set of universal development goals for a sustainable future. Since an estimated 60 percent of the global population will live in cities by 2030, which is the deadline of the new goals, outdoor urban air quality is now … 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

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