The World of International Organizations Explained

Labor leaders see role in peace and justice

James Vibert's "The Human Effort" in Geneva's William Rappard Park outside the World Trade Organization (ARÊTE/John Heilprin)

Reflecting a world of instability and conflict, International Labor Organization Director-General Guy Ryder set a distinctly somber tone as he opened a one-day summit meant to explore the importance of decent jobs in building world peace, social justice and resilience.

Global foreign investment at 3-year low

A sign of foreign investment on the road in Northern Uganda (ARÊTE/John Heilprin)

Business investments across national borders or overseas plunged by almost a quarter in 2017, and increased trade tensions between the world’s major economies could lead to more such setbacks, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development reported.

Safety concerns over return of Rohingya

Presidential palace in Naypyitaw, Myanmar (ARÊTE/John Heilprin)

Myanmar and two United Nations agencies have agreed to return some of the 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to their former homeland in Myanmar, despite many serious concerns about whether they can be repatriated to the area where they fled from military-led violence.

U.N. says Trump violates children’s rights

National Guard troops provide security along the U.S.-Mexico border (ARÊTE/John Heilprin)

The U.N. human rights office said the Trump administration is violating children’s rights under international law by breaking up families arriving from Mexico. But the American ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley sharply rebuked the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for its criticism.

Longest U.N. whistleblower case settled

Caroline Hunt-Matthes in front of the U.N. refugee agency in Geneva (ARÊTE/John Heilprin)

The United Nations settled a long-running case of retaliation against a former U.N. investigator, acknowledging it caused her professional and personal hardships. A joint statement from the U.N. refugee agency and the whistleblowing former U.N. investigator said it was time to put the 15-year case to rest.

Energy transition lags behind climate goals

A testing lab at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado (ARÊTE/John Heilprin)

An international organization working to advance renewable energy sources finds reason for optimism but worry, too. The power sector is rapidly changing, yet not enough is being done to keep Earth from overheating. Renewable power accounted for 70 percent of net additions to global power generating capacity last year.

WHO panel stops short of sugary tax

Vacationers at Egypt's Red Sea resort in Sharm El Sheikh (ARÊTE/John Heilprin)

The World Health Organization called on governments to do more to reduce premature deaths from neglected chronic diseases, but it stopped short of endorsing a sugary drinks tax or holding businesses accountable for unhealthy substances.

African migration seen as economic boost

The U.N. Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ARÊTE/John Heilprin)

African migration could trigger big new economic benefits for origin and destination countries, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development reported. It finds most African migrants move within the continent, which is also a destination for 5.5 million migrants from outside Africa.

Case made for top-down U.N. reforms

The entrance to the the Palais des Nations in Geneva (ARÊTE/John Heilprin)

The United Nations is weighing proposals to add two new departments and revamp its 44,000 staff — about a third the size of Microsoft or Apple — in a broader effort to radically shake up management.

#MeToo arrives at top labor forum

Workers on laptops and tablets (ARÊTE/Rawpixel Ltd.)

The world’s foremost gathering of labor officials wants to universally define workplace harassment and guarantee workers’ rights against violence. The International Labor Organization called it an important issue before the #MeToo movement emerged last year.

The world of international organizations explained.

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