United Nations

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EPA/Rolex Dela Pena

Is an effective United Nations still the only hope?

Bombing Syria seems to have become obligatory for any aspiring great power. After all, what’s the point in spending all that money on sophisticated warplanes if you can’t actually use them on someone…
EPA/Matt Campbell

Australia’s bid for the UN Human Rights Council

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced that Australia is running for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for the period of 2018 to 2020. The bid was originally made by the previous government, and…
Kevin Rudd is reportedly campaigning to take over as UN secretary-general when Ban Ki-moon’s term expires in 2016. EPA/Peter Foley

Is Kevin Rudd the very model of a modern UN secretary-general?

If history is a guide, the next UN secretary-general will be from Eastern Europe, working in their national government, and with strong foreign service experience.
Improving maternal mortality and ending preventable deaths in children are some of the health targets in the Sustainable Development Goals. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/Flickr

More is less? Health in the Sustainable Development Goals

Health has secured its place as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. But without clear mechanisms to report, finance or engage other sectors, could more end up as less?
Australia’s prodigious coal output is one of the factors that count against it in a new appraisal of sustainability among OECD nations. John Englart/Wikimedia Commons

Australia is among the most liveable nations, but it lags other countries on sustainability

A survey of OECD nations puts Australia 18th out of 34 on progress towards the world's new sustainability goals. It scores well on quality of life, but lets itself down on - you guessed it - climate.
Yahya Jammeh, president of Gambia, addresses the United Nations in September 2014. The dictator is notorious for human rights violations. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Why Gambia is not ideal to host Africa’s human rights watchdog

President Jammeh has ruled Gambia with an iron fist since he seized power more than two decades years ago. He is responsible for gross human rights abuses, yet he hosts Africa's human rights watchdog.
Leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations in the Bavarian Alps for a summit in June. Time is ripe for a courageous shift in global leadership. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Forget the G7, the world needs a new alliance to lead it in the 21st century

The world needs an alliance of leading well-being economies, a WE7, to lead it in the 21st century. It would be the first step towards a global network committed to a sustainable future for the planet.
Australia has faced tough questions over whether it is doing its part to cut greenhouse emissions. CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Australia in the spotlight at climate talks, for all the wrong reasons

Australia's grilling by other major nations at this week's climate talks in Bonn show that it still has serious questions to answer over the scope of its greenhouse emissions-reduction targets.
The MDG for eradicating poverty and hunger has been helped through new high-yielding varieties of rice (right) that can withstand drought in Africa. Reuters/Erik de Castro

The role of science in reaching development goals

Science has had a crucial role in helping to meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals. But there's much more to do.
The silence is deafening. Luke Redmond/Flickr

The UN’s 15-year goals ignore LGBT rights yet again

Negotiations on the UN’s 15-year development strategy, which involve all 193 member states, have at last produced a set of ambitious Sustainable Development Goals. These focus on social justice, poverty…

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