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Humans of New York World Tour: Iraq and beyond

If you visit the Humans of New York website or on the Facebook page now and in the next few months, you'll find portraits and stories from beyond New York. Brandon Stanton and HONY will be going on a "world tour," to be part of the UN's Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group effort to raise awareness for the eight international Millennium Development Goals with a target date of 2015 . Currently, HONY is "suddenly a war report form Iraq". [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 9, 2014 - 13 comments

Veto bunnies

Who uses their veto in the UN Security Council the most, and what for?
posted by tavegyl on Jul 31, 2014 - 16 comments

World Health Organization quietly endorses drug decriminalization

"The United Nations approves of the criminalization of narcotics. But the World Health Organization, a branch of the UN, apparently disagrees. The Economist has flagged a report on prevention and treatment for HIV in groups most likely to contract the disease. In the report, the WHO quietly recommends decriminalizing drugs — specifically, injectable drugs that spread HIV." [more inside]
posted by bookman117 on Jul 21, 2014 - 15 comments

United Nations report on human rights within North Korea

United Nations finds evidence of human rights violations within North Korea. [more inside]
posted by lpcxa0 on Feb 17, 2014 - 106 comments

Hostis Humani Generis

The legal framework of terrorism has been ... complex. Under the Bush Administration, terrorists were deemd to be "unlawful enemy combatants," and not afforded the protections of the III Geneva Convention. The policy, thought not the name, has continued under the Obama Adminstration, and this indeterminate legal status has significantly complicated efforts to try or release them. However, there is an older legal model that may suffice: piracy. (previously [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 4, 2013 - 16 comments

Stop the killer robots before it's too late!

Nobel laureate's campaign calls for pre-emptive ban on autonomous weapons. As our technology advances, it becomes more and more feasible to give more and more autonomy to our drones. A new campaign led by 1997 Nobel laureate Jody Williams calls for an international ban on the design of autonomous weaponized drones. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Apr 27, 2013 - 123 comments

Around the world in 194 meals

Jesse and Laura are cooking and eating their way through the United Nations, and raising money for World Food Program USA as they do.
posted by booksherpa on Dec 16, 2012 - 14 comments

To ensure the effective protection of the right to life of all persons under their jurisdiction...

The UN has condemned extrajudicial killing on the basis of gender identity. [more inside]
posted by jiawen on Nov 21, 2012 - 33 comments

Senator Chip Rogers - Agenda 21 - Mother Jones

Chip Rogers is the Republican Majority Leader of the Georgia State Senate, and Treasurer of ALEC (previously 1 2). On October 11th he hosted a four-hour briefing for his fellow senators, regarding Obama's mind-control techniques which are forcing the US into a United Nations-led Communist dictatorship in which suburbanites are forcibly relocated to cities. The theory is based on Agenda 21, the non-binding 1992 UN treaty on sustainable development. Rogers narrowly failed to pass a resolution against Agenda 21, but other states have done so, and Alabama has even forbidden its implementation in law.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 15, 2012 - 132 comments

Iranian uranium

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran has tripled its production of >20% enriched uranium in the past three months, while adding 2,600 new uranium centrifuges to its main enrichment facility in Natanz. The agency has not received a "satisfactory explanation" of how 20kg of uranium metal went missing from an Iranian research laboratory. Iran has been blocking IAEA inspections, and the agency "is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities". In recent years, Russia and China have chosen to limit UN sanctions against Iran, whose government denies it aims to make atomic weapons.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Feb 24, 2012 - 220 comments

The Rights that were Left.

On December 6th, 2011, International Human Rights Day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech in front of the United Nations proclaiming freedom and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (transcript included). [more inside]
posted by seanmpuckett on Dec 7, 2011 - 71 comments

Guatamalan Mother Searches Five Years for Daughter

In a case that is rocking the international adoption world, a Guatemalan judge has ordered the return of a six year old girl to her biological family. [more inside]
posted by zizzle on Aug 19, 2011 - 221 comments

Famine in East Africa

With East Africa facing its worst drought in 60 years, affecting more than 11 million people, the United Nations has declared a famine in the region for the first time in a generation. Alan Taylor's In Focus quickly brings home the scale of the suffering, with a link to the CNN article listing several ways to donate.
posted by bwg on Jul 27, 2011 - 33 comments

Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.

In a non-binding resolution narrowly passed by 23 to 19 (with 3 abstentions), the United Nations Human Rights Council has condemned violence and discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgender people for the first time. [more inside]
posted by thebestsophist on Jun 17, 2011 - 48 comments

One step at a time

The Global Commission on Drug Policy is the latest group to advocate an end to the drug war - but also an unusually high-profile one, including former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Switzerland, Prime Minister of Greece, Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, George Shultz and Paul Volcker. Tomorrow, June 2, sees the launch of their report, which advocates treating recreational drug use (and abuse) as a public health issue rather than a criminal justice one. [more inside]
posted by anigbrowl on Jun 1, 2011 - 60 comments

Over 2.7 million nations served.

NationStates is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry back in 2002 (previously). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government, the game starts by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum, practice wargaming in International Incidents, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly (so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki, which provides a detailed legislative record, gameplay guide, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations, 8,000 player regions, and countless characters that currently make up the game world.
posted by Rhaomi on May 9, 2011 - 62 comments

Where Do Babies Come From, and Where Do They Go?

Interactive map of international adoptions, from the superlative Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. The site contains an amazing amount of information about corruption in international adoption in countries like Nepal and Vietnam.
posted by the young rope-rider on Apr 19, 2011 - 18 comments

The US Pot describes the Chinese Kettle, and the Kettle replies in kind

Recently, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton released the 35th annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, covering the legal status of human rights in more than 190 countries and territories around the world. This year, Clinton had tough words for China, amid crackdowns on dissent. In response, China provides a profile of the US, pointing out actions related to Wikileaks, civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the prisoner abuse scandals related to counterterrorism initiatives. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 11, 2011 - 48 comments

Cole to Left: "Learn to walk & chew gum at the same time."

"The United Nations-authorized intervention in Libya has pitched ethical issues of the highest importance, and has split progressives in unfortunate ways. I hope we can have a calm and civilized discussion of the rights and wrongs here." Professor Juan Cole of the University of Michigan writes An Open Letter to the Left on Libya.
posted by dvorak_beats_qwerty on Mar 27, 2011 - 253 comments

Gays able to be executed without cause

On 16 November 2010, the UN General Assembly Third Committee removed a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, a move condemned by gay and lesbian rights groups. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Nov 28, 2010 - 24 comments

The Gangster Prince of Liberia

Adam Higginbotham wrote an interesting article in 2007 about Chuckie Taylor's reign of terror in Liberia. (Note: PDF link) [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 27, 2010 - 9 comments

Say Hello to the Newest Member of the Former Yugoslavia

Kosovo's declaration of independence has been declared legal by the International Court of Justice. [more inside]
posted by resiny on Jul 22, 2010 - 44 comments

FDR: "People who are hungry, people who are out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made."

The United States was engaged in the largest two-front war of its, or any nation's history. Though victory was not yet certain, there were discussions on a multi-national level regarding the future peace, and on the President of the United States was looking to the post-war prospects for the nation. With that in mind, the annual address of the President to Congress and the nation was summed up in one word: Security. "And that means not only physical security which provides safety from attacks by aggressors. It means also economic security, social security, moral security -- in a family of nations." This was Franklin D. Roosevelt's third-to-last Fireside Chat, presented on Tuesday, January 11, 1944, which included what he proposed to be the Second Bill of Rights. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 16, 2010 - 67 comments

Portraits of Power

Portraits of Power "An interactive portfolio of portraits by Platon of world leaders, with commentary by the photographer."
posted by gwint on Dec 4, 2009 - 24 comments

The Flickr Page of the UN Refugee Agency

The United Nations Refugee Agency has a Flickr page with nearly 3000 photos neatly sorted into over 150 sets, most often by country, though sometimes by other themes, such as photos taken by refugee children, life in a refugee camp and mixed migration. There are also news sets, sorted by month. Some of the countries featured are ones that many associate with humanitarian disasters, Timor-Leste, Iraq and The Democratic Republic of Congo, but there are also photosets from countries that few associate with refugees, Panama, Hungary and France.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 17, 2009 - 9 comments

Unemployment is of vital importance, particularly to the unemployed

The world's economic crisis has cost more men their jobs than women in Western countries. But in Asia and most of the developing world, the economic meltdown has a woman's face. The Toronto Star: Today, International Women's Day, women celebrate the gains made in achieving equal rights and highlight the widespread wrongs that damage the lives of the 3.3 billion females around the world. But the issue foremost in women's minds is the global recession, which has hit the most vulnerable half of humanity with exceptional force. The Bangkok Post: The latest International Labour Organization (ILO) report revealed that the global unemployment rate could rise as high as 7.1% in 2009, compared to 6% in 2008. What is worrying is that the consequences of the global crisis could come knocking on your door. What was the global economic crisis last year could easily become a global social crisis this year. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Mar 9, 2009 - 7 comments

Peace: Still a Man's Thang

In 2001, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on Women's Role on Peace-Building and Security, calling for increased participation by women in conflict resolution and peace negotiations. Eight years later, "in terms of signing the peace documents and being at the peace table and involved in the peace-making operations, 1.3 percent of all the signatures in the world on these peacekeeping documents have been rendered by women." (Stephen Lewis, former UN special envoy), and as of 2007, women constituted only 1% of peacekeeping military personnel. Could increasing women's participation also help reduce sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers?
posted by terranova on Mar 3, 2009 - 5 comments

U.N. DECLARATION FOR GAY RIGHTS OPPOSED

Alone among major Western nations, the United States refused to sign a United Nations declaration calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality. The U.S. was joined by China, Russia, the Roman Catholic Church, and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in rejecting the declaration. In 2004, the Vatican and Islamic Conference had lobbied vehemently and successfully to prevent the U.N. Human Rights Commission from outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. [more inside]
posted by terranova on Jan 15, 2009 - 98 comments

globalizing democracy

Today's featured article at Wikipedia concerns the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly: a proposed UN body which, according to its proponents, would eventually consist of representatives elected directly by the people of the world. Might this proposal be a viable plan for a more global expression of democracy? Or is it just one more Utopian vision of "world government" doomed to wither under the vociferous criticisms that such proposals seem, inevitably, to attract?
posted by washburn on Dec 18, 2008 - 21 comments

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60th Anniversary

Sixty years ago on December 10, fifty eight nations created the UN Declaration of Human Rights. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Dec 9, 2008 - 20 comments

Mugabe Attempts to Beat Zimbabwe into Submission

"'If voters fail to return Mr. Mugabe to office...Prepare to be a war correspondent.' Mugabe's party in Zimbabwe spasms into mass repression and political violence to prevent Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change from winning power. The African Union dithers, as does the UN (as it gives Zimbabwe leadership positions). Many Chinese rationalize their government's weapon shipment. According to the government-published Herald, everything's just fine. What are the options?
posted by shivohum on May 8, 2008 - 29 comments

Tu es Petrus

After breaking the ice with his video message to all Americans, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Washington, D.C. this afternoon for the initial part of his first Papal visit to the United States of America. Watch it all live. [more inside]
posted by resurrexit on Apr 15, 2008 - 36 comments

World Governments & Accountability

Social Watch monitors the progress of efforts, articulated in numerous international agreements (1 2 3), to end poverty and increase equality worldwide. By coordinating the reports of a network of citizens' organizations, Social Watch aims to keep tabs on progress toward specific initiatives in each country, lobbying national governments as appropriate. Search by country for a snapshot of social and economic progress. Browse various measures of stability and meaningful development. Lots more, including meaty, well-documented reports and statistics, and holy crapola, nice graphics.
posted by Rykey on Apr 5, 2008 - 6 comments

I for one welcome our new "Controllers"

It's official. The aliens are coming. In 2017. Turns out they might like The Beatles after all. The UN is on the case. The Hindus are going to be especially upset.
posted by monospace on Feb 29, 2008 - 21 comments

Independent Kosovo? Why Not Vermont?

Kosovo is technically part of Serbia, but it's been governed by the U.N. since 1999, after NATO militarily intervened to stop Slobodan Milosevic's brutal suppression and expulsion of ethnic Albanian separatists. Now that it has declared its independence (with US support), the elephant in the room remains: Independent Kosovo? Why Not Vermont? "Why is statehood OK for some people but frowned on for others?" There is no internationally accepted standard for independence. "This is the great hole in democratic theory."
posted by stbalbach on Feb 17, 2008 - 83 comments

Participating in UN peacekeeping missions made Fiji prone to coups

Without participating in peacekeeping missions overseas, it is unlikely that Fiji's army would ever have become strong enough to seize power. So says the Economist: "When the British left Fiji in 1970, there were only around 200 serving military personnel. UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and Sinai generated a tenfold increase by 1986. The next year, Fiji witnessed its first military coup." The series of coups since then haven't stopped Fiji from continuing to participate in UN missions.
posted by jstruan on Sep 29, 2007 - 12 comments

SPOILER: NYC wins.

Estimated cocaine consumption based on waste-water analysis (expressed as cocaine lines* per day per 1000 Inhabitants, age 15-64) *1 line was here assumed to be equivalent to 100 milligram of cocaine. --page 272

This, and much more, in the UN 2007 World Drug Report (pdf). HTML homepage.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 1, 2007 - 49 comments

Blog of UN diplomat

When you have a blog, and you're the Special Representative of the UN in Darfur, be careful about what you write. Jan Pronk's blog gives you a good idea in what a high level UN diplomat actually does, and how difficult it is to get anything done in a country torn by war. Oh, and check these photos out, if you just want the non-political goodness.
posted by Harry on Oct 25, 2006 - 11 comments

Come One, Come All, There's Plenty of Misery to Go Around

Meanwhile, Malawi Withers
After a poor harvest that brought in 1.3 million tons of maize (well short of the 2.1 million tons needed) the United Nation made an $88m (66 million pounds) food appeal for Malawi ten days ago but has not received a single penny or pledge of aid from any nation so far.

Woops, check that, Ireland's just pledged a million euros. Only 65 million to go.
posted by fenriq on Sep 9, 2005 - 19 comments

What would you do with the UN?

Leader of a major global governmental entity takes responsibility for massive failures of management within his organisation, showing humility and expressing regret. No, not him. Now, if I was in charge...
posted by klaatu on Sep 7, 2005 - 32 comments

oh so NOW the UN is usefull...

Oh, the irony... The Bush administration, long critical of the United Nations, has accepted a U.N. offer of help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and a U.N. team has gone to Washington to see how it can complement American efforts.
posted by saketini99 on Sep 4, 2005 - 36 comments

Democracy in Action

Bush to Senate: Go to Hell. As expected, President Bush bypassed the confirmation process and made a recess appointment to elevate John Bolton to the post of US ambassador to the United Nations, brushing off what he calls "partisan delaying tactics by a handful of senators." Bolton was previously discussed on MeFi here.
posted by digaman on Aug 1, 2005 - 213 comments

Interview with Tadatoshi Akiba

A fascinating interview with Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba, mayor of Hiroshima and president of Mayors for Peace. Dr. Akiba is New York for the UN conference on the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty, and he took the time for some eloquent straight talk about the nuclear weapons and international politics. (First link is to a real audio file.)
posted by fingers_of_fire on May 2, 2005 - 5 comments

And Bolton hasn't even started yet

UN investigator who exposed US army abuse forced out of his job.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Apr 24, 2005 - 47 comments

UN - In Larger Freedom

Kofi Annan has issued his recommendations for tackling poverty and promoting security and human rights, incorporating the greatest alterations to the UN and Security Council in history.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Mar 21, 2005 - 23 comments

US out, UN in. Out, in, out, in.

U.N. Peacekeepers to third world: bend over, spread 'em.
posted by jfuller on Feb 27, 2005 - 32 comments

Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling

Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors. The oil trade with countries such as Turkey and Jordan appears to have been an open secret inside the U.S. government and the United Nations for years.
posted by Postroad on Feb 3, 2005 - 28 comments

Women are "evildoers" too.

U.S. refuses to join U.N. plan for women From AP via Yahoo: UNITED NATIONS - The United States has refused to join 85 other heads of state and government in signing a statement that endorsed a 10-year-old U.N. plan to ensure every woman's right to education, health care, and choice about having children.
and
President Bush's administration withheld its signature because the statement included a reference to "sexual rights."
posted by Skygazer on Oct 14, 2004 - 48 comments

Double negative?

Banned weapons and WMD parts were shipped out of Iraq after the US forces took power according to the UN. At least thats the best I can make of this article. Does this really say that the UN is upset at us for shipping out of Iraq the exact things they previously said were not in Iraq?
posted by soulhuntre on Sep 7, 2004 - 73 comments

34 Million Friends

34 Million Friends was founded by Lois Abraham and Jane Roberts to gather private contributions for the United Nations Population Fund, and had gathered $1,957,613.31 in gifts and pledges as of July 4. For the third year in a row, the Bush administration is withholding $34 million in aid because of accusations that UNFPA supports China's policy of coercive abortions, despite evidence to the contrary. UNFPA estimates the money could have helped prevent as many as 2 million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, and over 77,000 infant deaths.
posted by homunculus on Jul 18, 2004 - 16 comments

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