ONU

No se me va de la cabeza la imagen del embajador de Israel, Gilad Erdan, el pasado día 10 ante la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas, despedazando en una trituradora portátil la Carta fundacional de esta misma organización que en 1947 posibilitó la creación de su propio Estado. Con semejante gesto, Israel se supera a sí misma en el desprecio a la comunidad internacional y en el fanatismo bipolar que solo ve antisemitismo en quienes denuncian la brutalidad de su venganza contra el repugnante ataque de Hamás del pasado octubre.

Ojalá que el arrogante gesto de Erdan tuviera un punto premonitorio y nos ayudara a reconsiderar qué papel está desempeñando la ONU en las guerras recientes, más allá del valioso alivio que la UNRWA (la agencia humanitaria para los palestinos) sigue ofreciendo a la población palestina a pesar de los obstáculos y maledicencias que afronta.…  Seguir leyendo »

El gran bulo de la ONU y la memoria histórica

¿Hablamos de bulos? Aquí va uno bien gordo, repetido prácticamente por todos los medios: La ONU insta a España a preservar la memoria histórica o La ONU, contra las leyes de concordia. Se refiere la noticia a un «informe» demoledor contra las iniciativas que Castilla y León, Aragón y la Comunidad Valenciana han impulsado frente a la Ley de Memoria Democrática, esa que el Gobierno de Pedro Sánchez redactó con Bildu y que prolonga el franquismo y sus sevicias hasta 1983 (en plena Movida madrileña). Moncloa ya tiene el relato triunfal: la ONU ha sacado los colores a PP y Vox por «blanquear la dictadura».…  Seguir leyendo »

Aid from the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip, March 2024. Mohammed Salem / Reuters

There has hardly been a war, crisis, or peace process involving Israel and an adversary that has not involved a UN response of some kind. Despite the UN’s many shortcomings, the assumption that any situation would be far worse without its involvement has generally been an accepted principle. The war that began with Hamas’s brutal attack on October 7 has challenged this assumption like never before, particularly for Israel. Despite years of working with the main UN agency that provides aid and services to Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, Israel is now seeking to dismantle it.

In January, Israeli officials alleged that as many as 12 of UNRWA’s staff members in Gaza participated in the October 7 attack.…  Seguir leyendo »

Concernant le financement de l'UNRWA, ne faisons pas la justice sur le dos des Gazaouis

La nouvelle tombée vendredi dernier est catastrophique sur tous les plans. D’un côté, apprendre que des travailleurs de l’Office de secours et de travaux des Nations unies pour les réfugiés de Palestine dans le Proche-Orient (l'UNRWA) sont présumément impliqués dans les attaques commises le 7 octobre par le Hamas en Israël est très grave et extrêmement choquant. D’un autre côté, la suspension du financement de cette agence par 15 pays occidentaux alors même que la Cour internationale de justice déclare qu’il est plausible que le droit des Palestiniens de Gaza d’être protégés contre les actes de génocide soit violé ne l’est-elle pas tout autant ?…  Seguir leyendo »

La Agencia de la ONU para los Refugiados Palestinos, en la diana de Israel

El Gobierno de Israel ve a la Agencia de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados Palestinos (UNRWA) como un enemigo. Por un lado, porque con su labor humanitaria dificulta la estrategia de hacer insoportable la vida a quienes habitan el territorio ocupado palestino hasta el punto de que decidan finalmente abandonarlo, dejándolo en manos de Tel Aviv. Por otro, porque su propia existencia hace visible la pervivencia de los seis millones de personas que asiste y protege; personas a las que el Gobierno israelí niega rotundamente el derecho al retorno, consciente de que reconocérselo supondría el colapso del sueño sionista de crear un Estado para los judíos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan speaking virtually at UN headquarters, New York City, October 2023. Mike Segar / Reuters

Ever since 1947, when the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, the organization has grappled with crises in the Middle East. In recent decades, discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the UN have featured the same basic dynamic: the United States uses its veto to block criticism of Israel at the Security Council while Arab states rally developing countries to defend the Palestinians. The debate at the UN in the weeks after Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel has largely followed this familiar pattern. The United States has blocked the Security Council from calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, but it could not stop a resolution passed in late October by a huge majority in the General Assembly demanding a “humanitarian truce”.…  Seguir leyendo »

USNS Comfort, naval hospital ship, pictured leaving Hampton, Virginia in 2017. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The recent explosion at the Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip emphasizes the risks to the delivery of safe emergency medical care in Gaza.

In other conflicts of recent decades, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Ethiopia, there has been ample space to deploy aid, but this is not the case in Gaza today.

Israel’s civilians have been caught up in the conflict, as hostages and victims of Hamas’s attacks. However, it is anticipated that Israel’s health service has the capacity to manage its own casualties from this conflict. The country has one of the most technologically advanced healthcare systems in the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un récent article paru dans Le Temps relate les critiques de certains pays occidentaux concernant un projet de résolution présenté par la Chine à la 54e session du Conseil des droits de l’homme qui siège actuellement à Genève. Cette démarche est jugée «inacceptable» par ces derniers, qui craignent la remise en cause de «l’indépendance» du Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies aux droits de l’homme. De quoi s’agit-il?

Nous nous sommes procuré le projet de résolution en question et avons constaté que ce dernier ne vise que la promotion et la mise en œuvre des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels (DESC). S’il est adopté par le Conseil des droits de l’homme, il ne peut que contribuer à la réalisation de ces droits qui sont primordiaux pour tous les peuples et tout un chacun: droits à l’autodétermination, à l’alimentation, au logement, à la santé, à l’éducation, au travail et du travail, à la sécurité sociale, culturels… C’est à se demander en quoi la mise en œuvre de ces droits compromettrait l’indépendance du haut-commissaire.…  Seguir leyendo »

C’est une nouvelle initiative de Pékin pour faire du développement l’un des éléments centraux de sa vision des droits de l’homme. Comme l’a révélé jeudi le Geneva Observer, la Chine s’est fait l’autrice d’un projet de résolution controversé destiné au Conseil des droits de l’homme (CDH). Le texte, qui fait encore l’objet de négociations, exhorte le Haut-Commissariat des droits de l’homme de l’ONU (OHCHR) à «convoquer une table ronde sur le renforcement du OHCHR dans sa promotion et sa protection des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels afin d’aborder la question des inégalités dans le cadre de la 57e session du CDH».…  Seguir leyendo »

Mayada Adil, Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals, speaks at the opening session of the second Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit in September. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

In the lead-up to the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the outlook for the future of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seemed rather bleak.

Global efforts to achieve these ambitious targets by 2030 had lost momentum, weakened by an unprecedented combination of wars, waves of populist nationalist politics, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Global Sustainable Development Report 2023 showed that only about 12 per cent of the SDG targets are on track and some 30 per cent of targets had either seen no movement or regressed below the 2015 baseline.

The sheer scale of the gap in financing required to achieve the SDGs, which the OECD estimated at $3.9 trillion in 2020, seemed to deepen the gloom.…  Seguir leyendo »

En la sopa de letras de cumbres que viene chorreando este arranque de curso (BRICS, G20, G77+China...), vuelve, un año más, "UNGA" (por sus siglas en inglés), la 78 sesión de la Asamblea General de la Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU). El bullicio abigarrado está. Y el tráfico... Manhattan paralizado como de costumbre (reventando en las costuras: más vale ir de zapato plano y con ánimo andarín). Los lemas frontispicio de estos encuentros son recurrentemente pomposos y a menudo vacuos. El elegido para esta edición: "Reconstruir la confianza y reactivar la solidaridad mundial", aún atinando en señalar la brutal carencia, suena a melancólico voto piadoso en un mundo patas arriba con la guerra rusa de agresión y desgaste contra Ucrania -y, más ampliamente, contra Occidente-, de telón de fondo.…  Seguir leyendo »

World leaders gathering in New York for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit next week will be faced with the entirely predictable failure of their own grand promises. Adopted with fanfare by every leader in 2015, the SDGs promised to achieve almost every imaginable good thing by 2030, including eradicating poverty, gender discrimination and hunger; tackling climate change, corruption and chronic diseases; ending AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; ensuring everyone gets energy, education and jobs; and, for good measure, boosting artisanal fisheries, sustainable tourism, urban green spaces and organic produce.

Politicians wanted the goals to be all things to everyone, so they failed to focus, prioritise or leave anything out.…  Seguir leyendo »

Expulsar a Rusia de la UNESCO

El presidente ruso Vladimir Putin ha estado especialmente enfurecido últimamente, y la ciudad portuaria ucraniana de Odesa ha sufrido las consecuencias. En la visión neoimperial del Kremlin, Odesa sería un símbolo del carácter ruso del sur de Ucrania, porque su desarrollo inicial fue dirigido por Catalina la Grande. El año pasado, el propio Putin la describió como "una de las ciudades más bellas del mundo", con "tradiciones e historia maravillosas". Pero para el régimen criminal de Putin, nada es sagrado.

Su furia se hizo patente el 17 de julio, cuando puso fin el acuerdo de exportación de cereal ucranio por el mar Negro, un acuerdo respaldado por Naciones Unidas, firmado en julio de 2022, que permitía a Ucrania exportar trigo, cebada y otros alimentos desde el puerto de Odesa, así como desde los puertos de Chornomorsk y Pivdennyi.…  Seguir leyendo »

On March 20, for the second time in its history, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) convened an Arria-formula meeting that focused specifically on the integration of the human rights of LGBTI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and other sexual and gender minorities) people in conflict into the work of the council.

Arria-formula meetings are informal, ad hoc gatherings that allow the convening member to invite parties outside the council’s membership to testify. The session’s chairperson, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, stressed that this was the first time that Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the U.N. independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, had briefed the Security Council.…  Seguir leyendo »

António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, speaks in Geneva on July 6. (Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Russia might be reeling from an “armed mutiny” at home and a botched invasion of Ukraine, but that hasn’t stopped it from pushing a plan for centralized United Nations oversight of the internet. An unfortunate new wrinkle is that Moscow’s approach appears to be getting some support from U.N. Secretary General António Guterres.

“We’re concerned about the Russians … pushing their authoritarian digital agenda in every forum around the world”, explained a senior Biden administration official in an email. “It’s global and relentless, and when we step back even a little bit, they fill that void”. He said the State Department has conveyed its “legitimate concern” about a U.N.…  Seguir leyendo »

Two residents of Majuro Atoll, the capital of the Marshall Islands, make their way through areas flooded by extreme tides on 20 February 2011. © Giff Johnson / AFP

On March 29, 2023, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution requesting the opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on state obligations in relation to climate change. The resolution, initiated by Vanuatu, marks a decisive step from both a legal and political point of view.

Legally, the resolution poses two very general questions for the ICJ, the main judicial body of the United Nations. The Court is called to rule on States’ obligations to combat climate change "for the benefit of States and future generations", but also on the legal consequences for those who violate these obligations.…  Seguir leyendo »

t’s been an entire week since the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria — seven days of horror and heartache on a scale we did not experience even in the darkest hours of the Syrian conflict.

Our team of White Helmets volunteer rescue workers in northwest Syria have been working around the clock night and day, pulling survivors from the rubble and searching for signs of life — with virtually no help from the outside world.

Our hope of finding survivors has faded. As we pull more dead bodies from the rubble, my heart breaks for every soul that could have been saved and was needlessly lost because we did not get the help we needed in time.…  Seguir leyendo »

How Ukraine Can Score Another Win at the UN

Diplomats in New York are debating how the UN should mark the first anniversary of Russia’s all-out assault on Ukraine – and the continuing Ukrainian resistance – at the end of February. It is partly a matter of diplomatic ritualism – both the UN Security Council and General Assembly will hold sessions to note the milestone – but it touches on deeper questions about exactly what types of measures UN member states are prepared to support as the war goes on.

Ukrainian officials have proposed tabling General Assembly resolutions that would break new ground by setting out terms for ending the war and holding Russian officials to account for aggression.…  Seguir leyendo »

La guerra de Ucrania y la pandemia de covid han sometido una vez más a una dura prueba a las Naciones Unidas. El Consejo de Seguridad, con cinco países miembros permanentes con derecho de veto, resulta absolutamente inoperante cuando, como en este caso, uno de los miembros es el agresor. En el lado positivo y respecto a la pandemia, la ONU ha jugado un papel relevante en la distribución de vacunas para países del sur, cuyas economías no les permitían la compra masiva de la mismas.

La ONU, tal como la conocemos hoy, recibe fuertes críticas que podríamos sistematizar en cuatro:

1.…  Seguir leyendo »

The UN Security Council has adopted a cross-cutting exception for humanitarian action in UN sanctions. What does it cover? What must happen next?

The UN Security Council has removed an obstacle to humanitarian work. On 9 December 2022, it adopted a resolution establishing a cross-cutting exception to existing – and future – UN financial sanctions for funds or assets necessary for humanitarian assistance and activities to meet basic human needs. In a coup for multilateralism, the council has been able to act, even when the Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused paralysis in other areas.

Resolution 2664 – introduced by Ireland and the US, co-sponsored by 53 states, and adopted by 14 votes in favour, with India abstaining – is the culmination of a decade of engagement between humanitarian organizations and states to find ways of avoiding the adverse impact of sanctions on the most vulnerable: people relying on humanitarian action for survival.…  Seguir leyendo »