How It Works

Here you will find explanatory journalism and other timely, useful information about how international organizations work along with links to background and sourcing.

WHO chief urges treaty and ‘lot of work’

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus closed out the World Health Assembly with a warning against complacency and an appeal for a global pandemic treaty.

IEA sees narrow path to 2050 net zero

Paris-based IEA advised that limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires an immediate and massive transformation of all energy systems.

Challengers for U.N. chief lack official standing

The U.N. is considering one candidate for secretary-general in 2022 — incumbent António Guterres — despite the emergence of self-nominated challengers.

Geneva ‘anticipator’ pushes science diplomacy

A new Swiss foundation unveiled sweeping plans that include establishing a global science court, an international organization and an international treaty.

World leaders propose new pandemic treaty

Twenty five nations joined with the European Council and World Health Organization in making an “urgent call” for creation of an international pandemic treaty.

U.N. says U.K. nuke plans would violate NPT

The U.K.’s decision to boost its nuclear warhead stockpile would breach the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, a U.N. spokesperson said.

IAEA to get ‘less access’ to Iran nuclear sites

The head of the U.N. atomic watchdog agency and Iranian top officials announced Tehran will give international inspectors reduced access to nuclear sites.

U.S. to ‘re-engage’ with Human Rights Council

The Biden-Harris administration will seek U.S. ‘observer’ status with the U.N. Human Rights Council at Geneva in a reversal of former Trump-era policy.

Virtual Davos targets pandemic-era mistrust

Thousands normally descend on Davos this time of year. But with the pandemic still raging, WEF will meet virtually to take on mistrust and division.

WTO delays IP waiver proposal for pandemic

A proposal for WTO to suspend IP protections of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments is set to expire this month, kicking the issue over to 2021.

WTO subsidy talks to curb overfishing drag on

Diplomats failed to meet an end-of-year deadline for a deal on halting government subsidies that contribute to overfishing, WTO officials said.

WMO says CO2 levels again at record high

Atmospheric CO2 levels reached a record high in 2019 and are expected to keep rising this year despite an economic slowdown due to the pandemic.

Envoy says 126 nations seek carbon neutrality

The top U.N. official for global climate action said 65 percent of the world body’s 193 member nations will seek net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

OSCE ‘grave concerns’ at Trump election ploys

OSCE election observers reported widespread concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to uncercut voter confidence in the presidential election.

Eight nations agree on rules to develop Moon

Seven nations joined the U.S. in signing agreements to reinforce and use international rules for peacefully cooperating on and around the Moon’s surface.

U.N. virus tracker shows deficit of gender policies

Just 25 nations, or 12 percent of the world, have comprehensive measures in place to protect women against the pandemic, a new U.N. data tracker found.

Anti-corruption sports organization in works

New momentum for creating a global organization to investigate corruption in sports surfaced as FIFA and UNODC signed a cooperation agreement.

Trump shuns multilateral vaccine effort

The Trump administration said it will steer clear of a multilateral effort to accelerate the development and production of COVID-19 vaccines.

WHO chief urges unity over ‘vaccine nationalism’

WHO’s chief said nations must band together and stop competing over access to future supplies of a potential vaccine if they want to beat the pandemic.

Virus and climate shape €1.8 trillion E.U. budget

European Union leaders sent a €1.8 trillion seven-year budget plan to European Parliament that includes a proposed €750 billion coronavirus recovery fund.

U.S. chided for ‘rapid decline’ in freedoms

Crackdowns on protesters and journalists landed the U.S. on a global alliance’s updated watchlist of nations dogged by “serious concerns” for civic freedoms.