U.N.

Trump at the United Nations: Derangement and Delusion Reign Supreme

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If any further proof were needed that the United States has descended into the realm of magical thinking, there could be no clearer example than Donald Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly on 19 September 2017. James O’Neill Dissident Voice In 40 minutes of what can only be described as a barely coherent and dangerous rant, Trump revealed how the United States has totally lost its grip on reality.  Some brief extracts from the speech illustrate its essential horrors.  ... Read More »

Donald Trump wheels jumble of contradictions onto world stage at UN

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Washington: March into the United Nations, name-calling and threatening destruction, and the chances are there’ll be push-back. Paul McGeough The Age Going one up on George W. Bush’s three-strong “axis of evil”, US President Donald Trump went after a four-strong “small group of rogue regimes” in his first speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. The inward rhetoric of his campaign notwithstanding, Trump issued a contradictory demand for patriotism and sovereignty for all nations that would be policed by his administration. If he ... Read More »

Restoring UN Leadership of Libya’s Peace Process

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Efforts to reunify Libya after six years of internal strife have drifted. Global and regional powers should seize the opportunity of a high-level UN meeting on Libya and a new UN special envoy to speak with one voice and act to build an effective and inclusive peace process. ICG On 20 September, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, will chair a high-level meeting on Libya on the side-lines of the General Assembly. After a long period of drift ... Read More »

Yemen: About 55,000 Documented Human Rights Violation Cases in Six Months

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Geneva- The Yemeni Coalition for Monitoring Human Rights Violations has called on the UN Human Rights Council UNHRC to oblige the Saleh-Houthi coup militias to implement its resolutions. The coalition specified resolutions 17/18 of 2011 and 27/29 of… Asharq Al-Awsat  The Coalition’s executive manager Mutahhar al-Budheiji made the appeal as he presented his organization’s report on the status of human rights in Yemen in the 36th session of the UNHRC in Geneva Wednesday. He urged the UNHRC “to call on ... Read More »

Can Trump and the United Nations Just Get Along?

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What has Donald Trump done to the United Nations? In the run-up to his inauguration in January, the president threatened to wreak havoc on the organization. Richard Gowan  The Century Foundation Angered by a December 2016 Security Council resolution criticizing Israeli settlement-building in the Occupied Territories, on which the Obama administration abstained, the president-elect darkly warned on Twitter that, “as to the U.N., things will be different after… During his turbulent tenure so far, Trump has veered from threatening major ... Read More »

Ukraine’s New Diplomatic Battlefronts: U.S. Weapons, UN Peacekeepers

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The front lines between the Ukrainian army and Moscow-backed forces in eastern Ukraine may be static but see frequent and violent firefights Diplomatic manoeuvering over new U.S. lethal weapons for Kyiv risks aggravating the conflict and Russia’s UN peacekeeping proposal could prove a distraction from a genuine solution. Magdalena Grono ICG Washington is considering providing Kyiv with lethal weapons, worrying many residents of eastern Ukraine – and not just separatist rebels or pro-Russian sympathisers. “Most people here don’t think about what ... Read More »

Rohingya crisis: UN sees ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Myanmar

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The security operation targeting Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, the UN human rights chief says. BBC Zeid Raad Al Hussein urged Myanmar to end the “cruel military operation” in Rakhine state. More than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted there late last month. The military says it is responding to attacks by Rohingya militants and denies it is targeting civilians. The violence began on 25 August when the Rohingya militants ... Read More »

‘Grandmother plant’: Ex-UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has advice for PM

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AGL’s Liddell power station is a “grandmother” plant that shouldn’t receive funds more usefully invested elsewhere to improve Australia’s energy prospects, Christiana Figueres, the former United Nations climate chief… Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald Ms Figueres, who as executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change oversaw the Paris climate agreement, said time is running out for Australia to get its energy and carbon policies in… “The time is short,” Ms Figueres told Fairfax Media during a ... Read More »

World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

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World must act to halt genocide of Rohingya Muslims in MyanmarPersecution of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar’s security forces has escalated to its worst level in years, becoming one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises. Editorial The Age So extreme is the systematic brutality against this stateless, downtrodden and demonised minority of 1.1 million people in a nation of 54 million, 90 per cent of whom are Buddhists, that the United Nations is suggesting it is tantamount to ethnic cleansing ... Read More »

North Korea Nuke Tests Show Need for New Policy Response

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North Korea’s sixth nuclear test heightens regional anxieties and is dangerous for populations living nearby. But in itself it does not fundamentally alter the situation nor should it raise the risk of military conflict. Instead, it should spur the U.S., South Korea and China to forge a stronger, more effective and more united diplomatic approach. ICG In a season of repeated North Korean provocative steps, the 3 September underground nuclear test ranks as the most serious to date. Not only will ... Read More »

Guatemala Stumbles in Central America’s Anti-corruption Fight

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Guatemala’s fight against corruption is in danger after President Morales attempted to expel the head of a uniquely effective UN-backed anti-corruption organisation. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Analyst for Guatemala Arturo Matute says a corrupt elite is waging a battle to maintain its privileged position. Arturo Matute ICG What is happening in Guatemala? A remarkable and hopeful two-year interlude in one of Central America’s most corrupt countries may now be ending. The key reversal came on Friday 25 August 2017, at a ... Read More »

Myanmar refuses visas to UN team investigating abuse of Rohingya Muslims

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Government led by Aung San Suu Kyi says it will deny entry to mission after UN report said treatment of minority group could amount to ethnic cleansing Reuters The Guardian Myanmar will refuse entry to members of a United Nations investigation focusing on allegations of killings, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya Muslims, an official has said. The government, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, had already said it would not cooperate with a mission set ... Read More »

Artificial intelligence researchers must learn ethics

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Scientists who build artificial intelligence and autonomous systems need a strong ethical understanding of the impact their work could have. James Harland Conversation More than 100 technology pioneers recently published an open letter to the United Nations on the topic of lethal autonomous weapons, or “killer robots”. These people, including the entrepreneur Elon Musk and the founders of several robotics companies, are part of an effort that began in 2015. The original letter called for an end to an arms ... Read More »

Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots

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Open letter signed by Tesla chief and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman urges UN to block use of lethal autonomous weapons to prevent third age of war Samuel Gibbs The Guardian Some of the world’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots. Tesla’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous ... Read More »

1974: The second Turkish invasion and the betrayal of Cyprus

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14 August marked the passage of 43 years since Turkey launched the second of its two invasions of the Republic of Cyprus. In contrast to the position when Turkey launched its first invasion on 20 July 1974, five days after an unlawful coup in Nicosia, Turkey had no pretext to justify its second invasion and the forcible transfers, deportations and other acts of ethnic cleansing which followed; both the junta in Athens and its short-lived puppet regime in Nicosia had ... Read More »

Fifty-five more migrants feared drowned off the coast of Yemen

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The UN says smugglers forced some 180 Ethiopian and Somali migrants off their boat into rough seas. Over 100 were rescued, five confirmed dead. Reuters TRTworld It was the second such incident in the past two days. Some 180 young Ethiopian and Somali migrants, many weakened by hunger and drought in their home countries, were forced from a boat into rough seas off Yemen by smugglers on Thursday, and 55 were presumed to have drowned, the… It was the second ... Read More »