Abortion rights protesters have a heated discussion with a man who is anti-abortion, outside the Supreme Court in Washington, May 14, 2022 (AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).

In the past few weeks, two ever-divisive issues in U.S. politics have once again reared their heads: abortion and gun control. Debates about the former were sparked in early May by a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion indicating that a majority of the court’s justices are in favor of overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that protects a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without excessive government interference. Activists in favor of protecting the right to abortion, as well as those opposed, promptly took to the streets and digital platforms to advocate for their point of view—and condemn the […]

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks via remote feed during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, April 5, 2022 (AP Photo/John Minchillo).

How should one think about the future of the global order and international organizations against the backdrop of Russia’s war on Ukraine? The war has highlighted the limitations of multilateral security institutions at both the global and European levels, as Moscow has blocked or ignored calls from the United Nations and other bodies to cease the hostilities. While some observers believe these organizations are as a result doomed to irrelevance, others have argued that the crisis creates an opportunity to revitalize them. There has been a lot of talk, for example, of changes to the U.N. Charter to stop Russia from using […]

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un leads a meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea, May 17, 2022 (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service photo via AP).

Reliable and accurate data are supposed to be the bedrock of the global health governance system. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is demonstrating just how difficult it is to collect such information, and why this failure has so many consequences for national and international responses to infectious disease outbreaks. Let’s use North Korea as an example. How many cases of COVID-19 have there been in the so-called Hermit Kingdom? If you ask North Korean government officials, the answer prior to the middle of May 2022 was zero—despite reports in the South Korean press that nearly 200 North Korean soldiers had died of the disease as early […]

Delegates listen as Malala Yousafzai, not seen, addresses the ‘Malala Day’ Youth Assembly at United Nations headquarters, July 12, 2013 (AP photo by Mary Altaffer).

Young people have been demanding better representation at the United Nations for many decades, but in the past couple of years, world leaders have seemed to catch on. In 2020, to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, all 193 of the world body’s member states came together to release a declaration committing to “listen to and work with youth.” Since then, it has been near impossible to go to a U.N. meeting aimed at young people without hearing phrases like “intergenerational cooperation” or “intergenerational solidarity.” This is no doubt a step in the right direction. In a 2021 manifesto titled […]

A firefighter monitors the Caldor Fire burning near structures in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Aug. 30, 2021 (AP photo by Jae C. Hong).

For decades, market fundamentalists pitted capitalism against environmentalism, as if the global economy could be insulated from shocks to the health and stability of the biosphere. At last, those days are ending, and economists and corporate leaders are recognizing the costs of running down Earth’s natural capital. Last week, the nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs announced that in 2021 alone, “climate change-related natural disasters inflicted nearly $150 billion in damage to America’s economy.” The U.S. plight is part of a broader pattern. On April 26, the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction, or UNDRR, declared that the world as […]

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol listens during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, May 21, 2022 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in South Korea yesterday, where he will spend the weekend meeting with the country’s new president, Yoon Suk Yeo, and visiting U.S troops based there. Biden then heads to Japan on Sunday for a three-day stop that will culminate in the second in-person leaders’ summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, comprising the U.S., Japan, Australia and India. As a candidate, Biden had expressed his intention of shoring up ties with U.S. allies in Europe and Asia, which suffered during Donald Trump’s presidency, should he be elected. Upon taking office, he followed through almost […]

Girls from poor localities wait their turn to show school work to teacher, at a makeshift school in a city park in Islamabad, Pakistan, Nov. 13, 2018 (AP photo by B.K. Bangash).

The Transforming Education Summit is fast approaching. Many in the education community and at the United Nations, as well as impassioned young activists around the world, have begun to mobilize for the event, which is scheduled to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly in September. And according to the world body’s deputy secretary-general, Amina Mohammed, the summit aims at nothing less than “averting a generational disaster” by “rethinking education systems.” However, little attention is being paid to this summit outside of those circles. In many ways, this isn’t surprising: Conferences and summits are an almost daily fixture on the international calendar, and […]

A Russian soldier looks through a binocular during drills in the Rostov region in southern Russia, Dec. 14, 2021 (AP photo).

International security is inherently a secretive business. Governments and militaries like to hide their capabilities and plans from their rivals. Yet in the post-Cold War years, states began to become more transparent about their military postures, aiming to create a new sense of international cooperation and openness. This process has now gone into reverse, with post-Cold War transparency arrangements in sharp decline. With the war in Ukraine signaling a new era of great power conflict and mistrust, can international organizations like the United Nations do anything to maintain some transparency over security affairs between states? The idea that multilateral bodies […]

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaks with the media as she arrives for an EU Africa summit in Brussels, Feb. 18, 2022 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).

The challenges we face today are incomparable to those of yesterday. More than ever before, we face threats restricted not just to distinct parts of the world or to particular populations, but to the globe’s collective existence. Global warming is heating up the planet—our shared home—to dangerous levels; apocalyptic nuclear warfare has become an ever-looming possibility; and new technologies, like AI voice cloning, increasingly have the potential to upend life as we know it. Unprecedented challenges call for unprecedented leadership. The world needs policymakers and leaders who can be flexible, incorporating new research and adapting to new crises as they emerge; […]

Demining experts search for mines in Kohsan district of Herat province, northwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, April 3, 2010 (AP photo by Reza Shirmohammadi).

On the morning of April 1, seven children were playing in the lush wheat fields of Afghanistan’s Marjah district, in the southern Helmand province, by tossing around a metal object. Moments later, it exploded. The blast claimed five of their lives, including the youngest in the group, a 5-year-old boy. “My daughter has not only lost her three sons, but also her senses,” Haji Abdul Salam, a 55-year-old farmer who lost two children and three grandchildren in the explosion, tells me at his home while attending to visitors there for the funeral. “She neither sleeps nor eats.” But Salam is […]

1

Climate change is pushing the world’s oceans toward a mass extinction event, according to a new report published in Science late last month. The authors, Princeton’s Justin Penn and Curtis Deutsch, contend that without swift steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the vast majority of all marine species could vanish over the next three centuries, with dire consequences for the rest of life on Earth. These findings underscore the urgent need to take dramatic action against global warming and to reduce other anthropogenic strains on marine ecosystems. There is still time to limit the damage—but only if the world acts quickly. As a terrestrial species, […]

A migrant waits on the Mexican side of the border in Tijuana, Mexico, Jan. 26, 2022 (AP photo by Marco Ugarte).

The war in Ukraine continues to occupy the attention of policymakers in Washington and Europe. As Russia shifts the focus of its invasion to the country’s south and east, it is becoming increasingly clear that the conflict has entered a new phase, becoming a war of attrition in which neither side seems likely to gain the upper hand anytime soon. While the Russian offensive once again seems to have stagnated, its destructive impact has not diminished. And while stepped up deliveries of U.S. and European military aid seem to be enabling the Ukrainian armed forces to hold the line, it […]

A sign at a rally for Ukraine at the White House shows Russian President Vladimir Putin in prison and calls for him to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (NurPhoto by Allison Bailey via AP).

Terrible stories are emerging from Ukraine about the mass rape of civilian women by Russian soldiers. Among the most notorious reports is one involving a group of teenage girls who were held captive in a basement in Bucha. Nine of them are now pregnant after multiple gang rapes. According to Ukraine’s ombudsman for human rights, Lyudmyla Denisova, “Russian soldiers told [the victims] they would rape them to the point where they wouldn’t want sexual contact with any man, to prevent them from having Ukrainian children.” Currently, these are reports from officials of a nation at war, and must therefore be verified by independent […]

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres waves to the crowds upon arrival in Maiduguri, Nigeria, May 3, 2022 (AP photo by Chinedu Asadu).

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio visited Dakar, Senegal, this week as part of his first trip to the African continent since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The ongoing impacts of the pandemic, including its multiplier effect on public health, economics, conflict, climate action and political stability, have been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and the collective response to that conflict, a major theme of Guterres’ visit to West Africa. During his three-nation tour to Senegal, Niger and Nigeria, which began last weekend and ended Wednesday, Guterres called on rich countries to increase their investment in African countries, at a time […]

Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve, May 4, 2022 in Washington (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

It’s a widely acknowledged truth that when the United States’ economy sneezes, many countries catch a cold. And so it is with this week’s interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in Washington, whose efforts to contain inflation in the U.S. are sure to create new problems for already battered economies and families in less affluent countries. The move will unintentionally pile onto the multiple, interconnected crises and growing challenges already facing developing countries. As I noted a few weeks ago, Russia’s war on Ukraine is sending economic, and therefore political, shockwaves across the planet, from Peru to Sri Lanka. Now comes the […]

A Ukrainian soldier smokes a cigarette outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, Feb. 26, 2022  (AP photo by Andrew Marienko).

A recent investigative report by Reuters detailed the close ties between Philip Morris International and Igor Kesaev, the founder and until recently board chairman of Russia’s largest cigarette distributor, TC Megapolis. Relationships between Big Tobacco companies and wholesale distributors tend to raise eyebrows in the industry-watching community, given their long history of involvement in smuggling. But what sparked Reuters’ interest in Kesaev is that he also happens to own a company that produces arms for the Russian military, for which he was sanctioned by the European Union on April 8 and the United Kingdom on April 13. That, too, is […]

Travelers walk through the Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, March 17, 2021 (AP photo by Rick Bowmer).

On Sunday, New Zealand finally opened its borders to visitors from 60 countries after almost two years, marking a momentous occasion for families, for the country and for the world’s battle against COVID-19. New Zealand has consistently maintained some of the strictest pandemic-related travel restrictions, and with these now lifted, it appears that at least some parts of the world have truly returned to “normal.” As more countries lift restrictions, international travel, and especially international tourism, has seen a resurgence. For the first time since 2020, people are starting to travel abroad en masse, not just to see family and friends, […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 181 2 Last