ONU

Edificio de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas (Nueva York, Estados Unidos). Shutterstock / Snaglic

Al segundo secretario general de Naciones Unidas, el sueco Dag Hammarskjöld, se le atribuye una de las mejores definiciones de la organización iniciada hace ahora 75 años en San Francisco:

“Fue creada no para llevar a la humanidad hasta el cielo sino para salvarla del infierno”.

El 26 de junio de 1945, cuando la Carta de Naciones Unidas fue firmada en la Conferencia de San Francisco, no se requería de mucha imaginación truculenta para concebir lo peor de la naturaleza humana.

La tragedia de la Segunda Guerra Mundial había conseguido abrir, casi de par en par, las puertas del infierno: genocidio, armas de destrucción masiva, violaciones sistemáticas de derechos humanos y la confirmación del indiscriminado coste de los modernos conflictos bélicos.…  Seguir leyendo »

El 12 de abril de 1945 el presidente Roosevelt se encontraba descansando en la residencia de Warm Springs en Georgia. La guerra mundial parecía ganada. Los soviéticos preparaban el asalto a Berlín y las superfortalezas americanas bombardeaban Tokio ante la resistencia feroz de los japoneses.

El presidente hojeaba informes de su Inteligencia mientras posaba impacientemente para un retrato y charlaba con su secretaria, y para algunos amante, Lucy Mercer. De pronto, Roosevelt dijo «tengo un terrible dolor de cabeza» y se desplomó. Al poco, fallecía. El presidente, que había llevado a su país decisivamente para los aliados a la guerra después del ataque a Pearl Harbour, no vería la rendición incondicional de Alemania, 7 de mayo, ni la de Japón, 14 de agosto.…  Seguir leyendo »

Corbis via Getty Images Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, with his son James, meeting to draw up the Atlantic Charter, August 1941

On June 26, the United Nations celebrates its seventy-fifth birthday. The initiative that led to that moment in 1945 began nearly four years earlier, at an August 1941 meeting between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, on a boat moored off the coast of Newfoundland, a British colony. For FDR, winning the war would necessarily mean a new, post-imperial world order. “I can’t believe that we can fight a war against fascist slavery, and at the same time not work to free people all over the world from a backward colonial policy,” he told Churchill. The British leader, an unrepentant imperialist for whom Canada, just across the water, was a recently lost British dominion, was apoplectic—but he desperately needed the United States first to get into the war (Pearl Harbor was still months away), and the two leaders signed their “Atlantic Charter.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Targeted cyberattacks are growing in frequency. Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Recent targeted cyberattacks exploiting the increased demand placed on the healthcare sector during the pandemic led to many calls of condemnation as well as a renewed focus on the connection between cyberspace and the UN’s role in maintaining peace and security.

Many world leaders and renowned experts have been urging governments to take action at the UN level to uphold the international laws being breached by these incidents. UN secretary general Antonio Guterres condemned those carried out on critical civilian infrastructure during his remarks at the Security Council in May following a wave of incidents such as cyberattacks on Czech hospitals and targeting of coronavirus medical research by hostile state actors.…  Seguir leyendo »

Attendees photograph the Massive Curve of Nature display of 250 curved screens at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, USA. Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Within the space of just a few months, the worldwide health crisis has accentuated gaps in connectivity and underscored the deep fragmentation of responses and approaches to technology deployment and adoption. And numerous processes and entities have already emerged raising concerns around this fragmentation, as well as effectiveness and inclusivity.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and World Economic Forum (WEF) have both set up new units to facilitate governance efforts while, in response to intensifying public pressure, ‘big tech’ initiated a series of multi-stakeholder alliances such as the Partnership on AI, the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.…  Seguir leyendo »

La pandemia de la COVID-19 expuso muchas debilidades institucionales, pero sobre todo, mostró que las Naciones Unidas necesitan urgentemente una reforma. En especial, la respuesta de la Organización Mundial de la Salud —la agencia mundial de salud de la ONU— frente al virus reveló obvias falencias, que reflejan la falta de consenso y cooperación internacional, así como un generalizado proteccionismo por parte de las partes interesadas.

La crítica contra la OMS fue más enérgica y marcada en Estados Unidos, donde la reciente decisión del presidente Donald Trump de congelar el financiamiento de ese país para la organización significó un golpe devastador en un momento en que esta necesitaba desesperadamente apoyo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters clash with police in Moscow in July 2019. (Pavel Golovkin/AP)

Last month, UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group, released a report on the upcoming election to the United Nations Human Rights Council. According to the group, governments seeking a place on the top human rights watchdog at the General Assembly session in October will include some of the world’s worst human rights abusers — among them Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Russia’s candidacy did not come as a surprise. The government in Moscow has long been eager to return to the forum, from which it was dropped nearly four years ago. In February, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov used a speech in front of the council to excoriate Western democracies for “meddling in the domestic affairs of sovereign states” and imposing “highly dubious ‘values’ .…  Seguir leyendo »

Una alfombra en la entrada de la sede de Naciones Unidas en Nueva York recoge unos versos de Saadi, el gran poeta persa del siglo XIII: “Todos los seres humanos somos parte de un mismo cuerpo. Cuando la vida afecta a un miembro el resto del cuerpo sufre por igual. Si no te afecta el dolor de los demás es que no mereces llamarte humano”. La solidaridad como rasgo distintivo de la humanidad. El espíritu de la organización que nació para preservar la paz y la colaboración mundial resumido en unas palabras.

Antes de que la covid-19 irrumpiera en nuestras vidas, el mundo se preparaba para celebrar el 75º cumpleaños de las Naciones Unidas.…  Seguir leyendo »

La bandera de las Naciones Unidas. Credit Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters

A medida que estalla la crisis del coronavirus en todo el mundo, la institución internacional más poderosa del mundo, el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU (CSNU), se tambalea.

El secretario general de las Naciones Unidas, António Guterres, ha pedido un alto al fuego global y ha descrito a la pandemia como la prueba más importante que las Naciones Unidas ha enfrentado desde su creación. La Asamblea General de la ONU aprobó una resolución en la que insta a una respuesta multilateral coordinada y la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) está salvando vidas al movilizar científicos, coordinando investigaciones y brindando información y atención urgentes a las poblaciones en riesgo.…  Seguir leyendo »

La globalidad de la pandemia del coronavirus ha cogido a la comunidad internacional con el pie cambiado, en el peor momento de la cooperación internacional —multilateralidad es el término técnico— de los últimos años, con un grupo de países intentando a toda costa dinamitar el esfuerzo colectivo ante los grandes retos, empezando por el cambio climático y la ambiciosa Agenda 2030 de desarrollo sostenible. En ello estábamos cuando aparece esta amenaza mundial en forma de virus que destapa todas nuestras carencias globales.

Para empezar, nadie está realmente coordinando a nivel mundial los esfuerzos que cada país está improvisando por su cuenta y riesgo.…  Seguir leyendo »

United Nations Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar shakes hands with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street, London, July 14, 1982 (Press Association photo via AP Images)

When Javier Pérez de Cuéllar turned 100 in January, his current successor as Secretary-General, António Guterres, sent a congratulatory message stating that “I have often reflected on your example and experience for inspiration and guidance.” This sounds like a standard diplomatic pleasantry, but there may have been a more to it than that.

As UN chief from 1982 to 1991, Pérez de Cuéllar, a former Peruvian diplomat, was intimately involved in ending Cold War conflicts from Afghanistan to Central America. Guterres, since his appointment in 2017, has warned that the U.S., China and Russia risk starting a “new Cold War” if they do not rein in their current tensions.…  Seguir leyendo »

The UN's first all-female peacekeeping force of more than 100 Indian women stand in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: Getty Images.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security – the first to recognize the important role of women in peacebuilding. How did the resolution come into being and how significant was its adoption in 2000?

Well it has quite an amazing history that goes back to other UN resolutions, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, which were passed in the 1960s and came into force in the 1970s. These were some of the biggest covenants on human and civil rights at the time but it was only later that people realised, that those who passed them, did not assume that they applied to women.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las recientes actuaciones de la Organización de Naciones Unidas -ONU- en América Latina, no han tenido efecto alguno. Si analizamos la situación en Cuba, la democracia sigue sin asomar en la isla. Sus habitantes continúan sometidos por un régimen autoritario en que el Estado es el dueño de los bienes de producción, del sistema financiero y de los medios de comunicación. Ni la ONU en forma directa, ni sus filiales regionales como Cepal -Comisión Económica para América Latina- o la CIDH -Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos-, han tomado acciones concretas que permitan influir en la jerarquía comunista de Cuba, para lograr que dicho país pueda alcanzar mayores niveles de libertad y desarrollo económico.…  Seguir leyendo »

General view is seen during the United Nations Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, United States on December 20, 2019. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency

Splits among the five permanent members of the Security Council or P5 (China, France, UK, Russia and the U.S.) on issues from Syria to Venezuela are now a regular and frustrating feature of UN diplomacy. Nevertheless, meeting at a Holocaust commemoration in Israel last month, French President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin reportedly discussed convening a leader-level meeting of the five at this September’s UN General Assembly session. Does this initiative suggest that relations among the P5 are about to take a turn for the better?

Perhaps marginally, but the outlook for Council relations remains fairly bleak. Looking at the Council’s agenda for the next several months, there are reasons to believe that the P5 face a factious 2020, risking more divisions over crisis situations from Mali to North Korea, and above all the tangle of conflicts in the Middle East.…  Seguir leyendo »

Anthony Kalulu is a farmer in eastern Uganda, and founder of non-profit Uganda Community Farm (UCF) Photograph: Handout

Where I live, people are organised in clans. I belong to a clan where even 100 people, gathered together, can’t raise $100 (£75) to organise a funeral.

I come from a family that couldn’t afford to pay tuition of $10 a term when I was a student two decades ago. Many of my young relatives are out of school now, because their parents can’t afford a full academic term of $15.

Others are even worse off. There are families I have spoken with who say they are unable to earn $2 a month as a family.

There is no question that the UN global goals have stalled.…  Seguir leyendo »

Muy pocas madres se pueden permitir que sus ‘bebés de paz’ vayan a colegios como este de Kolminy. Michelle D. Milliman/Shutterstock.com

Marie* tenía 14 años y acudía a una escuela cristiana cuando conoció a Miguel, un soldado brasileño destinado en Haití como Casco Azul de la ONU. Pronto inició una relación con él. Cuando le dijo que estaba embarazada de su hijo, Miguel le aseguró que le ayudaría con el niño, pero volvió a Brasil. Marie trató de comunicarse con él vía Facebook, pero Miguel nunca respondió.

Al enterarse de que estaba embarazada, el padre de Marie la echó de casa y se fue a vivir con su hermana. Actualmente, su hijo tiene cuatro años y Marie continúa a la espera de recibir algún tipo de ayuda por parte del ejército brasileño, alguna ONG, las Naciones Unidas o el estado haitiano.…  Seguir leyendo »

A soldier on the African Union Mission in Somalia standing guard on a street during a security operation in Mogadishu, Somalia. EPA/Tobin Jones

In an ever more urbanising world, peacekeepers will increasingly operate in cities. In a recent article, we analysed how attacks against the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) affected the peacekeepers’ ability to operate in Mogadishu.

Cities host key logistical and political assets and institutions. They are frequently the object of fierce contestation among warring parties. Cities may also remain divided and insecure long after formal peace agreements are signed, posing significant challenges to peaceful transitions.

Securing strategically important cities and protecting key institutions are thus crucial tasks for peace operations. However, operating in densely populated urban areas brings significant challenges.…  Seguir leyendo »

New U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft casts a vote during her first U.N. Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., 12 September 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Security Council diplomats have a chance to engage in some self-criticism this week. On Thursday and Friday, representatives of the Council’s current members will attend a workshop with their counterparts from the five elected members joining it in 2020 (Estonia, Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). This event, convened by Finland, is one of two annual opportunities for Council insiders to discuss their collective efforts – the other, a retreat with the Secretary-General, took place in May – and their talks can be quite frank.

According to a detailed summary of last year’s workshop, “a participant lamented that there was a prevailing image of the Security Council as an organ that was becoming less effective and less influential over time”.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cuando se trata de Venezuela, la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos no se contiene. Hace solo unos meses, publicó un informe que detalla una vasta campaña de abusos contra los derechos humanos, incluyendo tortura, el encarcelamiento de cientos de disidentes políticos y más de 5,000 ejecuciones extrajudiciales solo el año pasado. Y no se detuvo allí. La libertad de expresión y el acceso a alimentos, medicinas, justicia: el alto comisionado detalló los abusos más graves cometidos por el gobierno de Nicolás Maduro de casi todos los derechos fundamentales.

Luego, en la mañana del jueves 16 de octubre, la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas eligió a Venezuela para formar parte del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas (CDHNU) por un período de tres años.…  Seguir leyendo »

When it comes to Venezuela, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights minces no words. Just a few months ago, it published an incandescent report detailing a vast campaign of human rights abuses including torture, the jailing of hundreds of political dissidents, and more than 5,000 extrajudicial killings last year alone. And it didn’t stop there: freedom of speech and access to food, medicine, justice — the high commissioner detailed major abuses carried out by the government of Nicolás Maduro of just about every fundamental right.

Then, Thursday morning, the U.N. General Assembly elected Venezuela to serve on the U.N.…  Seguir leyendo »