How It Works

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

CERN celebrates ‘Run 3’ — and 3 new exotic particles

Scientists cheered as the world’s biggest and most powerful atom smasher started recording high-energy collisions of protons at an unprecedented 13.6 TeV.

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 wreak havoc globally.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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% of the world, have comprehensive measures in place to protect women against the pandemic, a new U.N. data tracker found.

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.