United Nations

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More than 160 nations will sign the Paris Agreement on its opening day – a record for a United Nations treaty. Aotearoa/Wikimedia Commons

The Paris Agreement signing ceremony at a glance

More than 160 countries are expected to sign the Paris Agreement in New York on April 22. But enough countries will also need to ratify the treaty domestically before it can become international law.
There are shortcomings in celebrity led campaigns against “conflict minerals” such as the one in which US actress Robin Wright is involved. Robin Wright's instagram

The problem with Western activists trying to do good in Africa

The relationship between advocacy organisations based in Western capitals and their marketed constituency of marginalised and disadvantaged African groups is tenuous. What then, is the goal?
Remembering ISIS victims at the U.N., November 2015. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

ISIS has changed international law

The urgent need to respond to ISIS has redefined the use of "self-defense" to include attacking a nonstate threat in another country. But what are the implications of this? change?
English dominates as the language of world scholarship. Shutterstock

English: the Empire is dead. Long live the Empire

The ongoing spread of English is unparalleled in world history. English dominates – in scholarship, business and international relations – but not all Englishes are created equal.
Map of the Sykes–Picot Agreement showing Eastern Turkey in Asia, Syria and Western Persia, and areas of control and influence agreed between the British and the French in May 1916. Royal Geographical Society via Wikimedia Commons

The post-colonial caliphate: Islamic State and the memory of Sykes-Picot

The leaders of Islamic State do not see their caliphate as an exercise in theocracy for its own sake, but as an attempt at post-colonial emancipation.
Julian Assange sought asylum and has remained in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. Reuters/Toby Melville

UN decision is not ‘the end of the road’ that Assange claims it is

A UN panel has called on the UK and Swedish governments to ensure Julian Assange’s human rights are respected and to compensate him for his time in 'arbitrary' detention.
The Monday market in front of the Grand Mosque of Djenné, Mali. qiv/Flickr

Why the recovery plan for Mali is unconvincing

The international conference for the economic recovery of Mali resulted in promises of substantial aid, but the areas targeted fail to address the country's real needs.
Some UN peacekeepers stand accused of sexual offences against children in the Central African Republic. An overhaul of the UN’s peacekeeping operations is needed to tackle the problem. Reuters/Media Coulibaly

Why the UN isn’t winning its battle against sexual abuse by peacekeepers

A UN report has found that in half of 12 country studies done on child sexual exploitation during armed conflict, the arrival of peacekeeping troops resulted in a rapid rise in child prostitution.

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