The World of International Organizations

Case cracks U.S. immunity of organizations

Gujarati fisherwomen at the Bandra fishing village (AN/Extempore)

(AN) — The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that international organizations should be treated like foreign nations when it comes to immunities: protections from lawsuits under American courts do not extend to commercial activities.

British envoy links gold to Venezuela’s fate

London's Palace of Westminster across the River Thames, home to Parliament (AN/John Heilprin)

(AN) — Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations linked Venezuela’s gold holdings in the Bank of England to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s grip on power — and his possible undoing. Access to gold could help Maduro maintain his hold in the cash-poor, oil-rich nation.

Human rights agenda seen ‘losing ground’

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis addresses the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva (AN/Swiss Foreign Ministry)

(AN) — Opening its new session, the world’s foremost body for encouraging human rights got a dismal message: U.N. leaders see a rise in hatred and a retreat in progress globally. The U.N. chief warned the “human rights agenda is losing ground” but was hopeful nonetheless.

Vatican pledges end to sex abuse cover-ups

Pope Francis at the Vatican's four-day summit on its global sexual abuse crisis (AN/Vatican Media)

(AN) — An unprecedented Vatican four-day summit closed with a mass at which Pope Francis promised an “all-out battle” to prevent more sex abuse of children by pedophile priests and the bishops who cover up their crimes.

U.S. isolation rapped at Munich summit

German diplomat and conference chair Walter Ischinger and U.S. presidential adviser Ivanka Trump (AN/Munich Security Conference)

(AN) — European and Asian leaders attending the world’s foremost security conference in Munich criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s enmity for international organizations and multilateral solutions, saying his isolationism put the world at more risk of conflicts and war.

U.N. experts warn IS remains global threat

U.S. Army soldiers take cover in Mosul, Iraq (AN/Kieran Cuddihy)

(AN) — U.N. counterterrorism experts reported that Islamic State militants remained a “covert” global threat, despite their recent losses and shifts in tactics.

U.N. group sees risk to underwater cables

Divers repair an undersea cable at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility (AN/National Museum of the U.S. Navy)

(AN) — When an underwater cable became severed in the South Pacific last month, Tonga lost all internet access for nearly two weeks, in an incident that illustrates some of the risks that a U.N. expert group is examining.

U.N.: Saudis undermine Khashoggi inquiry

Protest outside London's Natural History Museum where the Saudis held a celebration (AN/John Lubbock)

(AN) — The U.N. team investigating Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death said preliminary evidence shows it was a “premeditated killing” that was planned and carried out by Saudi officials, who then “undermined” Turkey’s efforts to determine what happened.

The U.S.-China trade war winner? Neither.

A full load of quilts on a trishaw pickup in the northern Indian city of Amritsar (AN/Shankar S.)

(AN) — The U.S.-China trade war is costing each country major export losses that are most likely to benefit European Union members and 22 other countries, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development reported.

Big pharma stands behind universal health

Thomas Cueni, a former Swiss journalist and diplomat who directs IFPMA (AN/John Heilprin)

The idea that everyone should have affordable, quality health services is backed by international organizations, including the global pharmaceutical industry.

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