The US and allies clash with North Korea, China and Russia over failed satellite launch and tensions
The United States and its allies clashed with North Korea, Russia and China over Pyongyang’s failed attempts to launch a spy satellite and who is responsible for escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
UN: North Korea is increasing repression as people are reportedly starving in parts of the country
The U.N. rights chief says North Korea is increasing its repression of human rights and people are becoming more desperate and reportedly starving in parts of the country as the economic situation worsens.
Sudan fighting is driving country to collapse and millions face a 'humanitarian calamity', UN says
UN officials say nearly four months of brutal fighting is driving Sudan to collapse with millions of people trapped in a “humanitarian calamity” and the possibility of a new ethnic conflict spilling into the region.
US, UK, France demand UN investigate Russia's sanctions-busting use of Iranian drones in Ukraine
The United States, Britain and France are demanding that the United Nations urgently investigate Russia’s reported use of hundreds of Iranian-provided drones in the war in Ukraine, which would violate U.N. sanctions.
UN Security Council denies Russia call for bio weapons probe
The U.N. Security Council has overwhelmingly rejected Russia’s attempt to establish a commission to investigate its unfounded claims that Ukraine and the United States are carrying out “military biological” activities that violate the convention prohibiting the use of biological weapons.
UN demands end to violence in Haiti, sanctions gang leader
The U.N. Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution demanding an immediate end to violence and criminal activity in Haiti and imposing sanctions on individuals and groups that threaten peace and stability in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation.
Russia blocks final document at nuclear treaty conference
Russia has blocked agreement on the final document of a four-week review of the U.N. treaty considered the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament which criticized its takeover of Europe’s largest nuclear plant soon after Russian troops invaded Ukraine.
US envoy: Africa trip isn't to compete with Russia, China
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is heading to Africa, saying she is going to focus on how the United State can help Uganda, Ghana and Cape Verde deal with the food crisis that has hit the continent particularly hard — not to compete with China and Russia.
UN fails to extend aid deliveries to Syrian rebel-held area
The U.N. Security Council has failed to extend humanitarian aid deliveries to 4.1 million Syrians in the rebel-held northwest from Turkey after Russia vetoed a resolution for a year-long extension and got insufficient support for its resolution for a six-month extension.
'She became our voice': Albright hailed by world leaders
As she pressed the Clinton administration into action against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic over war crimes in the Balkans, Madeleine Albright would harken back to her own childhood as a refugee from Czechoslovakia who fled the Nazis in war-torn Europe.
Russia vetoes UN demand that Russia stop attacking Ukraine
Russia has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding that Moscow immediately stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all troops, a defeat the United States and its supporters knew was inevitable but sought to highlight Russia’s global isolation.
US and Russia clash over use and impact of UN sanctions
The United States and its allies clashed with Russia and China in the U.N. Security Council over the usefulness and impact of U.N. sanctions, currently imposed on countries from North Korea to Yemen and Congo as well the al-Qaida and Islamic State extremist groups and their affiliates and supporters.
Reparations draw UN scrutiny, but those who'd pay say little
More than a year after Black Lives Matter protests launched a worldwide reckoning about the centuries of racism that Black people continue to face, reparations emerged — unevenly — as a high-profile issue at this year’s largest gathering of world leaders.
Biden looks to turn page on 20 years of war in UN address
President Joe Biden begins his first visit to the U.N. General Assembly ready to make the case to world leaders that after closing the chapter on 20 years of war, the U.S. aims to rally allies and adversaries to work together on a slew of crises including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and trade and economics.
Women’s groups call for UN peacekeeping force in Afghanistan
Women’s rights supporters and faith leaders are calling for a U.N. peacekeeping force for Afghanistan to protect hard-won gains for women over the last two decades as American and NATO forces complete their pullout from the war-torn country and a Taliban offensive gains control over more territory.
With ambassador picks, Biden faces donor vs. diversity test
President Joe Biden is facing a fresh challenge to his oft-repeated commitment to diversity in his administration: assembling a diplomatic corps that gives a nod to key political allies and donors while staying true to a campaign pledge to appoint ambassadors who look like America.
UN envoy: Myanmar faces possibility of major civil war
Anti-coup protesters run to avoid military forces during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday March 31, 2021. (AP Photo)CAMEROON – The U.N. special envoy for Myanmar warned Wednesday that the country faces the possibility of civil war “at an unprecedented scale” and urged the U.N. Security Council to consider “potentially significant action” to reverse the Feb. 1 military coup and restore democracy. AdIn the virtual meeting, Schraner Burgener denounced the killing and arrest of unarmed protesters seeking to restore democracy. “A robust international response requires a unified regional position, especially with neighboring countries leveraging their influence towards stability in Myanmar,” Schraner Burgener said, adding that she plans to visit the region, hopefully next week. The opposition of ethnic armed groups to “the military’s cruelty ... (is) increasing the possibility of civil war at an unprecedented scale,” Schraner Burgener warned.
Biden administration quietly ramping up aid to Palestinians
(AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)WASHINGTON – The Biden administration is quietly ramping up assistance to the Palestinians after former President Donald Trump cut off nearly all aid. AdIn general, the administration supports a resumption in aid to the Palestinians, State Department spokesman Ned Price said. Such payments were one reason the Trump administration cut off aid. The GAO based its findings on a review of aid provided to the Palestinians between 2015 and 2019, when Trump severed most of the aid. Soon after President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20, his administration announced that it would restore relations with the Palestinians and renew aid as key elements of support for a two-state solution to the conflict.
Donors pledge more than $6 billion to tackle Syria's crisis
Announcing the total pledge, EU Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic said that besides the grants, financial institutions and donors offered loans amounting to $7 billion. AdThe EU said it committed to €3.7 billion ($4.3 billion) for 2021 and beyond, with €1.12 billion ($1.31 billion) coming from the bloc's executive arm and €2.6 billion ($3 billion) from the 27 EU member states. Another $5.8 billion was requested for nearly 6 million Syrian refugees who fled their homeland. AdGerman Foreign Minister Heiko Maas pledged 1.738 billion euros ($2 billion) on Germany’s behalf Tuesday, an amount he described as the country's largest pledge in the last four years. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom cut its pledge to “at least" 205 million pounds ($281 million), compared to 300 million ($411.8 million) last year.
US eyes additional UN action on N. Korea after missile tests
(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)WASHINGTON – The Biden administration said Monday it's looking at “additional actions” that the United Nations might take to respond to North Korea’s recent missile tests. “We’re looking at additional actions that we might take,” Thomas-Greenfield said of the U.S. and others Security Council members. Last week, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea in a defiance of U.N. resolutions that ban such launches by North Korea. Some experts say North Korea’s missile launches, the first of their kind in a year, were aimed at applying pressure on the Biden administration. Past short-range missile launches by North Korea have typically drawn U.N. Security Council condemnations, but not fresh sanctions.
US gives $15 million to Palestinians to deal with COVID-19
The United States says it is giving $15 million to vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a boost to the West Bank where the Palestinian Authority had only secured 10,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and 2,000 shots from Israel for the roughly 3 million Palestinians living in the West Bank. But in recent weeks, it has inoculated over 100,000 Palestinian laborers in the West Bank who have permits to work inside Israel and its West Bank settlements. Wennesland said the U.N. and its partners will continue to support Palestinian vaccination efforts, expressed appreciation for Israel's essential role in deliveries, and urged support for the Palestinian COVID-19 response. U.S. envoy Thomas-Greenfield announced the $15 million contribution as Israel awaits the final results from Tuesday’s fourth parliamentary elections in two years.
UN: Yemen conflict escalates as country speeds toward famine
FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2019 file photo, a malnourished newborn baby lies in an incubator at the Al-Sabeen Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen. Beasley told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday, March 10, 2021, that conditions in war-wrecked Yemen are hell. U.S. President Joe Biden’s envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, last week urged the Houthis to agree to a cease-fire proposal. AdOn the humanitarian front, Yemen, which imports most of its food and other commodities, remains the world’s worst crisis. A U.N. pledging conference on March 1 raised a disappointing $1.7 billion, less than half of what aid agencies need this year, which means “we don’t have enough money to stop famine,” Lowcock said.
UN calls for reversal of Myanmar coup and condemns violence
Myanmar nationals living in Thailand hold pictures of deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi as they protest against the military coup in front of the United Nations building in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Nava Sangthong)CAMEROON – The U.N. Security Council unanimously called for a reversal of the military coup in Myanmar on Wednesday, strongly condemning the violence against peaceful protesters and calling for “utmost restraint” by the military. A presidential statement approved by all 15 council members including Myanmar’s neighbor and friend China was formally adopted at a very brief virtual meeting where U.S. Nonetheless, it will be the first presidential statement on Myanmar adopted since 2017 and reflects council unity in trying to reverse the coup. She said she doesn’t have “the solution on the silver plate” but she has some ideas, which she didn’t disclose, that she wants to discuss with the military, Suu Kyi, ousted parliamentarians and others.
US urges Sudan to build an inclusive government for all
FILE - In this July 30, 2020 file photo, residents displaced from a surge of violent attacks squat on blankets and in hastily made tents in the village of Masteri in west Darfur, Sudan. (Mustafa Younes via AP, FIle)CAMEROON – The United States called on Sudan Tuesday to build an inclusive and representative government that ensures peace, supports people on the margins and helps “those who have suffered achieve justice.”U.S. Another major rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Movement-Army in the restive Darfur region, which is led by Abdel-Wahid Nour, rejects the transitional government and has not taken part in the talks. Volker Perthes, the new U.N. special envoy for Sudan and head of UNITAMS, said in his first briefing to the Security Council that “Sudan is making significant advances in its transition. However, the remaining challenges are staggering.”AdOn the plus side, he pointed to the new Cabinet including signatories of the Juba agreement, and the government's agreement on national priorities.
On International Women's Day, laments of retreat on rights
A woman waves a feminist flag as demonstrators attempt to storm the National Palace during a march to commemorate International Women's Day and protesting against gender violence, in Mexico City, Monday, March 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)CAMEROON – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on International Women’s Day that the COVID-19 pandemic has seen “a rollback in hard-won advances in women’s rights” even as calls for women's empowerment echoed around the globe, from Myanmar and Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia and the United States. “We stand at a crossroads as we ponder the recovery from a pandemic that has had a disproportionate impact on women and girls, ” said UN Women’s Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the U.N. observance of International Women’s Day. AdAround the world, there were expressions of concern at the state of women’s rights. According to Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission, 65 women were killed and 95 wounded in targeted attacks in 2020.
Biden brings no relief to tensions between US and China
Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair Americas relations with the rest of the world. From Iran to Russia, Europe to Latin America, Biden has sought to cool tensions that rose during President Donald Trump’s four years in office. China and the United States are the world’s two largest economies and the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases. The backdrop is clear: The United States is convinced that it and China are engaged in a duel for global dominance. Ad“There has been huge deviation between what they believe China is and what China really is,” Yu said.
Who is Myanmar's UN envoy? Coup opponent or representative
(UNTV via AP)CAMEROON – Myanmar’s U.N. ambassador, who strongly opposed the military coup in his country, insists he remains the permanent representative to the United Nations, but the foreign ministry has informed the U.N. that the ambassador has been terminated and his deputy is now in charge. The dispute over who is recognized as Myanmar’s ambassador -- the representative of the generals who carried out the Feb. 1 coup or of the ousted democratically elected government -- is under discussion and could end up in the General Assembly, where all 193 U.N. members have seats. “I wish therefore to confirm to you that I remain Myanmar’s permanent representative to the United Nations.”The second letter to the secretary-general from Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which Dujarric said was received Tuesday, makes no mention of the coup. AdThe ministry said Myanmar’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Tin Maung Naing, has been assigned as the charge d’affaires of the U.N. mission. The General Assembly meeting was called to hear a briefing from the U.N. special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, who said it is time to “sound the alarm” about the coup.
US is 'gravely concerned' by reports of abuses in Ethiopia
Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes, center, visits internally-displaced people in Adigrat Town, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Accounts of atrocities by Ethiopian and allied forces against residents of the country's northern region of Tigray were detailed in reports by The Associated Press and by Amnesty International. We are also deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian crisis,” said Blinken in a statement issued Saturday. AdThose responsible for abuses in Tigray must be held accountable, Blinken added, calling for an independent, international investigation into the reports of human rights violations. The U.S. urged the immediate withdrawal from Tigray of troops from the neighboring country of Eritrea and from Amhara, the Ethiopian region bordering Tigray.
New US envoy starts challenge to restore US on world stage
United States Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield testifies during for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington. The longtime career diplomat thanked President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, who swore her in on Wednesday, for choosing her for the “distinguished position” and said she was “thrilled” to be at the United Nations. “The United Nations is the world’s most important forum for bringing people and countries together,” Thomas-Greenfield told reporters immediately afterward. AdHer confirmation on Tuesday was hailed by Democrats and advocates of the United Nations who had lamented “America First” unilateral approach to international affairs and rejoiced at Biden’s return to multilateralism. Guterres warmly welcomed Thomas-Greenfield, calling the United States “a fundamental pillar of the United Nations and of international cooperation" and telling her, “you are not only a very distinguished diplomat, but a very passionate citizen of the world," with a strong commitment to refugees.