Counterrevolution or Reform at the United Nations?
The glass is certainly more than half full
Although the American media generally depicted Kofi Annan’s end-of-term reform package for the United Nations as a failure, its achievements are by no means negligible. The cup is certainly more than half full. Frankly some of the “failures,” such as reform of the Security Council, were not only entirely predictable but relatively benign as well. Ian Williams gives an overview on UN reforms since the World Summit one year ago.
Above all, the successful adoption of the “Responsibility to Protect” at last year’s summit far outweighs any perceived or alleged failures in mere administrative reform. Such a framework of principles to protect human rights goes directly to what many of the world’s people expect of the organisation ... ... this article will be published in our forthcoming Issue 4 and can be accessed online by subscribers. Please log in >>> here.
At first glance, everyday life seems not to have changed in Istanbul. The streets are congested; people hurry to the ferry or the bus. For weeks, there has been no terror attack. Nevertheless, there are some visible changes. There are much more policemen in the streets. In some days, the Istiklal Caddesi, the main shopping street on the European side, seems to be under a state of siege. At every street corner, there is police van with the blue light switched on.
Recent disturbing trends in international finance have particularly problematic implications, especially for developing countries. The new United Nations report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 (WESP 2017), is the only recent report of a multilateral inter-governmental organization to recognize these problems, especially as they are relevant to the financing requirements for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Trump government signals unequivocally the end of international US hegemony. An international hegemon is able to define rules that find relatively broad acceptance internationally and plays a role in safeguarding international economic stability. The Trump government announced measures that go against the present economic rules while not proposing new ones.
The global deficit in quality jobs and deteriorating economic conditions in a number of regions threatens to undo decades of progress in poverty reduction, warns a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) 2016.
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.