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.
When the General Assembly elected its President for 2023-2024 last week, it continued a longstanding tradition of male dominance in the UN’s highest policy making body.
The new President for the 78th session, Ambassador Dennis Francis of Trinidad and Tobago, a longstanding career diplomat and a former Permanent Representative, was elected June 1 “by acclamation”.
Almost half of the world’s population lives in coastal zones. For islands in the Pacific and Caribbean islands such as Dominica, where up to 90 percent of the population lives on the coast, the ocean is fundamental to lives and livelihoods. From fisheries to tourism and shipping, this essential body which covers over 70 percent of the planet, is a lifeline.
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.
Armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate change and other crises increased the number of crisis-impacted children in need of urgent quality education to 224 million, according to a new Global Estimates Study
issued today by Education Cannot Wait (ECW
), the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.
The Climate Change envoy to the President of Kenya has asked Kenya’s and, by extension Africa’s negotiators at the ongoing climate conference in Bonn, Germany, not to put much emphasis on financing the Loss and Damage kitty but instead calls for fairness and equity.
Mireia Villar Forner
is the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Colombia. Ms. Villar Forner brings more than 25 years of experience, which she acquired within the United Nations and externally, to the position. At the United Nations, she most recently served as Resident Coordinator in Uruguay, where she led the work of the United Nations development system to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She also held senior positions at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including that of Resident Representative in Uruguay, Deputy Resident Representative in Bolivia and Deputy Resident Representative in Iraq during the country’s political transition. She also served at the UNDP Liaison Office in Brussels, where she played a key role in strengthening the partnership between the Organization and the European Union. Before that, she worked as the focal point for Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the Arab States, in UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, after an assignment as Head of the Programme Section of the Electricity Network Rehabilitation Programme in Northern Iraq. She started her career with the United Nations at UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States. Prior to joining the Organization, Ms. Villar Forner worked in the financial sector in Spain. She holds a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University in the USA, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Barcelona in Spain.
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.
The frighteningly rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have triggered the question: is there a UN role for monitoring and regulating it?
Citing a report from the Center for AI Safety, the New York Times reported last week that a group of over 350 AI industry leaders warned that artificial intelligence poses a growing new danger to humanity –and should be considered a “societal risk on a par with pandemics and nuclear wars”.
In the Pacific Islands and many developing and emerging countries worldwide, the informal economy far outsizes the formal one, playing a vital role in the survival of urban and rural households and absorbing expanding working-age populations.
Children are not targets. Children are not soldiers. Children are not weapons. As we commemorate the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
, we call on leaders everywhere to embrace the commitments outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child
and the Safe Schools Declaration
to ensure girls and boys everywhere are able to reach their full potential without fear, without intimidation and without violence.
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.
Long before the COVID-19 Pandemic, fishers at the Rocky Point fishing beach in Clarendon were forced to venture farther out to sea to make a living or find alternatives to make ends meet.
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.
Thailand is heading to the edge of the precipice as conservative and military forces could possibly refuse to recognise the will of the people, as expressed in one of the country's biggest election upsets.
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?
Seven weeks after the bloody conflict in Khartoum, Sudan started, and 41 days after the Nigerian government began the evacuation of residents studying there, students are still waiting to be airlifted back to their home country.