On October 28, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for the 23rd year in a row to condemn the United States’ tough embargo on Cuba as a unilateral interference in free trade. Coincidentally, the UN system is tackling the devastating spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa and urging states to contribute medical and financial resources to stem the outbreak.
In August 2014, the Saudi Arabian government donated $100 million to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre. Shahram Chubin, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, argues this donation is part of a move to distance the country from radical groups in the Middle East.
An influx of Central American children at the United States border has re-opened the debate around U.S. immigration policies. Lavinia Limon, president and CEO of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, argues the government should take immediate actions to resolve the issue.
35 years after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic and the United States is finally thawing. The United Kingdom’s former representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Peter Jenkins, argues that more has to be done to neutralize several decades of mistrust.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that global obesity levels have doubled since 1980. Academic Roberto De Vogli, who just led a study on obesity published by the WHO, argues that this increase in weight occurred hand-in-hand with market deregulation.
As talks resume this week in an effort to diffuse the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program, hopes are high that the U.S.–Iran relationship will thaw for good. Analyst Nader Hashemi argues that the pro-democracy movement in Iran will also benefit from a more amiable relationship between the United States and Iran.
Many interpret China’s regional disputes as signs of a rising world power flexing its muscles. Yukon Huang, the World Bank’s former country director for China, argues that understanding each country’s point of view is key to de-escalating tensions in the region.
The high hopes for social and political change that came over the Arab world almost three years ago have now transformed into uncertainty. World-renowned economist Hernando de Soto argues that nothing will be resolved until people are given the opportunity to prosper within the world market economy.
Last month, President Barack Obama telephoned the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani. It was the first direct diplomatic contact between the two countries’ leaders in over 30 years. Mansour Farhang, the Islamic Republic’s first ambassador to the United Nations, argues that ending decades of hostility and distrust may be difficult, but not impossible.
An Egyptian court has banned the Muslim Brotherhood outright, preventing the group and its affiliates from participating in future elections. But Wael Haddara, a former senior adviser to ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, argues that despite its genuine effort to govern, the Brotherhood was up against impossible odds.