Nothing was more predictable than repression. Merely for holding candles and flowers, people were taken away
by Hong Kong’s police.
The occasion was the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, 4 June 1989. Hong Kong was until recently home to mass annual vigils where thousands gathered to keep alive the memory of that day. But that’s all gone now in the crackdown that followed large-scale protests for democracy
that erupted in 2019.
The second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on plastic pollution (INC-2), held in Paris, France, from May 29 to June 02, 2023, concluded with optimism and the prospect of ending plastics pollution. Over 700 delegates from 169 Member States agreed to prepare a zero draft of agreement
ahead of the third session in November this year.
The UN is hustling to play a role – perhaps even a leading role – in the revolution of Artificial Intelligence. To some degree this is perfectly natural.
Recently when I was asked to offer my thoughts on the phenomenal advances of artificial intelligence (AI) and
whether the United Nations play a role in its global governance, I was reminded of the Three Laws of Robotics
which are a set of rules devised by science fiction
author Isaac Asimov
and introduced in his1942 short story.
On June 2, the U.S. government escalated its conflict with Mexico over that country’s restrictions on genetically modified corn, initiating the formal dispute-resolution process under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
During the week of May 21, the UN held its annual week dedicated to the Protection of Civilians
. The themes of the week’s events, particularly the side events, I had the honor of participating in, mirrored many of the pressing issues in Yemen, as conflict continues.
It’s time to get together and celebrate the environment! June 5th is the 50th World Environment Day, where each year, the significance of transformative action from across the world is crucial to help people and the planet. This year’s World Environment Day is being hosted by Côte d'Ivoire
in partnership with the Netherlands with a theme of ‘Finding Solutions for Plastic Pollution
The COVID-19 crisis has shone a light on the danger of pandemics; social crises have shone a light on the danger of inequalities. And the reality is that outbreaks become the pandemics they do because of inequality. The good news is that both can be overcome – if they are confronted as one.
shows that Black mothers in the United States disproportionately live in counties with higher maternal vulnerability and face greater risk of preterm death for the fetus, greater risk of low birth weight for a baby, and a higher number of maternal deaths.
On May 24, Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived on a three-day official visit to Japan, his second visit to the country, having attended the State funeral of former prime minister Shinzo Abe last September.
Turkey’s election hasn’t produced the change many thought was on the cards. Now women’s groups, LGBTQI+ people and independent journalists are among those fearing the worse.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has led the country for two decades, first as prime minister and then as president, prevailed in the 28 May runoff poll, taking around 52.2 per cent of the vote, with his opponent, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, on 47.8 per cent.
have hit New Zealand hard this year. In January, we suffered unprecedented extreme weather and flooding, followed by Cyclone Gabrielle in February - the worst storm in 55 years—which triggered a national state of emergency
. In total, we had 5.5 times more rain
than Auckland summers typically receive.
A few weeks ago we celebrated the Girls in ICT Day
and I am wondering how can we keep moving the digital equality needle so that more women out of the 259 million that are disconnected today
can log in and become creators and not only beneficiaries in the digital economy?
There have been an array of proposals to sustain journalism around the world-- from tax incentives and subsidies to the idea of allocating 1% of governments’ GDP to a drastically increased ODA for independent journalism in the global South.
Reducing carbon emissions is critical for combating climate change. And one effective way to do this is through the use of carbon taxes.
In December last year, I launched our year-long commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We have since issued a series of initiatives calling on States and all others to make pledges, and to take clear steps to fulfil the promises of the Universal Declaration.
As a matter of global justice, the climate crisis has rightfully made its way to the world’s highest court.
On 29 March 2023, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted
a resolution asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue an advisory opinion on the obligations of states on climate change. The initiative was led by the Pacific Island state of Vanuatu
, one of several at risk of disappearing under rising sea levels. It was co-sponsored by 132 states
and actively supported by networks of grassroots youth groups from the Pacific and around the world.
A new study estimates
that global heating will push billions of people outside the comfortable range of temperature and weather in which we have evolved.
This upcoming weekend, on May 28, we are commemorating World Hunger Day. The day serves as a reminder that more than 800 million people around the world are living with hunger and malnutrition. That number is staggering, but there is hope.
In 2021 alone, almost 24,000 grave violations of children’s rights in war were documented by the United Nations – these included killing and maiming, sexual violence, use and recruitment, and abductions. Schools and hospitals were destroyed, and humanitarian relief was denied on arbitrary grounds, depriving children of vital services. More children now live in conflict zones than in the past two decades.
At the UN Water Conference in March 2023, the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina (UNC) along with several key partners, including UNICEF, Water Aid, the World Health Organization, and the governments of Ghana, Uganda, and South Africa, among others, organized a session centered around the elimination of lead in drinking water across the globe.