By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
GENEVA (IDN | South Centre) - The UN Climate Conference held in Warsaw has set up a new international mechanism to help developing countries affected by loss and damage from climate change, such as the Philippines typhoon.
The setting up of a loss and damage international mechanism was the major achievement of the 19th Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC (COP19) that ended on November 23, a full day after its scheduled conclusion.
By International Crisis Group | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
BRUSSELS - The U.S.-Russian agreement to remove Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal has led many observers to hope for a political breakthrough. A more immediate and realistic objective, as well as a more reliable yardstick by which to measure various parties’ good-will, should be on the humanitarian front, where the situation is deteriorating rapidly and relentlessly.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
NEW YORK (IDN) - Armed drones are the subject of two landmark reports presented to the 193-nation General Assembly – the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN – in October: one urging transparency over the killing of civilians by U.S. drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen; and the other warning against “the use of drones by States to exercise essentially a global policing function to counter potential threats”.
By Roberto Bissio* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
MONTEVIDEO (IDN) - According to the official schedule, approved by the United Nations General Assembly in New York, negotiations on a "new development agenda" to replace the Millennium Development Goals should begin in September 2014, in order to give countries time to study the issue. This will culminate in a Development Summit in 2015 attended by heads of state and government.
However, the creation of a "partnership facility", which is one of the key points of the new agenda proposed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is already included in the budget for next year. In the coming weeks the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly may approve a substantial piece of the new agenda before a majority of the members having started to analyze it.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
NEW YORK (IDN) – Seventeen years after the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) opened for signature, the United Nations has launched a new initiative to expedite its entry into force “at the earliest possible date”.
Foreign ministers and high-level representatives from the 183 Member States of the Treaty have urged the eight remaining States – China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States – to sign and ratify the CTBT, “thus ridding the world once and for all of nuclear test explosions”. Ratification by these eight countries is indispensable for the Treaty coming into force.
To ensure an innovative and focused approach to advance the CTBT’s ratification by the remaining Annex 2 States, a group comprising eminent personalities and internationally recognized experts was launched on September 26, 2013 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Through their expertise, experience and political standing, this Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) will support and complement efforts to promote the Treaty’s entry into force as well as reinvigorating international endeavours to achieve this goal. The Presidents of the Article XIV Conference, the Foreign Minister of Hungary, János Martonyi, and the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Marty Natalegawa, will also be members of the GEM.
By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) - The United Nations rose to one of its finest moments when the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2118(2013) on the September 27 addressing the outrageous use of chemical weapons in Syria while setting guidelines for a political solution to the civil war in that country. Great powers can sometimes agree to use diplomacy wisely to save the world from conflict. However the assumption that the Syrian crisis has been solved through a U.S.-Russian agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons hides the ugly reality of a continuing civil war with daily death tolls adding to a total of about 100,000, a suffering populace and an exodus of refugees now numbering 1.9 million apart from the displaced.
By Ramesh Jaura* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - Reputed to be an ardent campaigner for a nuclear weapons free world, ICAN has yet again called upon the powers-that-be to ban all nukes threatening the very survival of planet Earth and entire humankind. The fervent appeal by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons coincided with the UN high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament in New York.
In a statement on September 26, ICAN, a global campaign coalition of more than 300 organizations in 80 countries, asks: “Where Is the 'Global Red Line' for Nuclear Weapons?”
By Nicole Rippin* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BONN (IDN) - On September 25, 2013 the UN General Assembly met in New York for a special event to discuss the new development policy agenda for the time after 2015. 2015 is the year by which the current agenda, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), are to have been achieved. Numerous documents were drafted by high-ranking committees prior to the event.
In a process lasting over one year more than one million people worldwide were asked about their wishes and ideas for a future development agenda. In view of this wealth of comprehensive documents with specific, visionary proposals it is remarkable how devoid of content and inexpressive the report that the UN General Assembly published as the result of their negotiations on September 25 was.
By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
TORONTO (IDN) - In a radical departure from diplomatic protocol, in some ways remotely reminiscent of Fidel Castro speeches at the UN General Assembly, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff lashed out at the U.S. for spying activities of the National Security Agency (NSA).
“The atmosphere was electrifying when (on September 24) the first speaker among political leaders, President Rousseff, described the internet spying as ‘a situation of grave violation of human rights and of civil liberties; of invasion and capture of confidential information concerning corporate activities, and especially of disrespect to national sovereignty’, noted one observer.
By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TORONTO (IDN) – The United Nations finds great favour with publics in Asia-Pacific and enjoys considerable backing in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America but has the lowest rating in the Middle East, according to a new survey, which also finds that the UN is generally liked in Europe and relishes robust support in Canada and the U.S.
The survey, conducted before Syria’s alleged chemical weapons attack and the proposed UN role in eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, was carried out by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project (GAP) in 39 countries among 37,653 respondents from March 2 to May 1, 2013. Results for the survey are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.