How It Works

Here you will find explanatory journalism and other timely, useful information about how international organizations work.

Wildfires sign of climate ‘tinderboxes’

Climate change is devastating the American West, where wildfire season is off to an early, ferocious start. The U.N. says wildfires are wreaking havoc globally, burning longer and hotter.

First image of Milky Way’s black hole

An international astronomy team gave the world its first glimpse of the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

CERN particle accelerator restarted

The world’s biggest and most powerful atom smasher is once again circulating beams of protons after a shutdown of more than three years for upgrades.

UNEP urges rethink on wildfire policy

The incidence of extreme fires around the world is expected to increase by as much as 50 percent by the end of the century, environmental experts warned.

Organizations warn of crisis in Horn of Africa

An estimated 13 million people face severe hunger in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia due to the worst drought conditions in decades, WFP said.

WHO warns of dangers from omicron variant

Initial evidence shows the risk from the new variant is “very high” and could cause surges with severe consequences, the U.N. health agency said.

G-20 supports corporate tax overhaul

Leaders at the G-20 summit in Rome endorsed a new measure to hinder multinationals from reaping huge profits where they pay few if any taxes.

Report urges more water crisis planning

Nations must prepare better for more water-related disasters along with a growing lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation, WMO reported.

U.N. raises billion-dollar ‘lifeline’ for Afghans

Donors pledged more than US$1.2 billion in emergency aid for Afghanistan at a U.N.-sponsored fundraiser as the Tabilan consolidates power.

Extreme climate risks for 1 billion children

Almost half of the world’s 2.2 billion children face an “extremely high” potential for deadly exposure to multiple shocks, according to UNICEF.

Geneva hosts U.S.-Russia security talks

Diplomats from the U.S. and Russia held a new round of discussions in Geneva seeking ways to defuse rising tensions and to avoid a new nuclear arms race.

Almost 10% of all people went hungry in 2020

World hunger “shot up” during the pandemic, leaving nearly 1-in-10 people undernourished mostly in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bachelet calls pandemic key test for leaders

The U.N. human rights chief opened the Human Rights Council’s summer session urging leaders to correct the many inequalities laid bare by the pandemic.

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.