Under The Radar

Here you will find stories about some of the vital but less-obvious developments involving international organizations along with links to background and sourcing.

With Biden, NATO warns on China, Russia

NATO agreed to address China’s military goals along with Russia’s aggressiveness at a summit on threats and challenges “from all strategic directions.”

Landmark climate ruling in Dutch court

Climate activists used the 2015 Paris Agreement to win a Dutch court ruling ordering Royal Dutch Shell to cut carbon emissions nearly in half this decade.

Facebook-backed digital currency reboots

Facebook’s global digital currency project is abandoning Switzerland as its hoped-for regulatory home and planning to launch a U.S.-based payment system.

COVAX expands with World Bank backing

The World Bank approved US$2 billion in financing for COVID-19 vaccines in 17 developing countries as part of a two-year US$12 billion package.

UNRWA reinstated as U.S. aid recipient

The United States pledged to restore aid to the Palestinians, almost two-thirds of it earmarked for the United Nations’ relief agency for Palestinian refugees.

Women ‘excluded’ from COVID-19 task forces

Government efforts to fight the pandemic include just one woman for every three men on average, according to UNDP, which urged more gender equality.

Risk of child marriage rising with pandemic

Child marriage is increasing with up to 10 million more girls at risk of becoming brides before the age of 18 due to the pandemic, UNICEF reported.

Summit marks U.S. re-entry to climate fight

A global summit’s mood was perhaps best reflected in the U.N. chief beaming at the new U.S. climate envoy’s pledge to restore American climate leadership.

U.S. and U.N. roles at odds in Western Sahara

Pro-independence leaders in Western Sahara want the Biden administration to resolve a contradiction: U.S. policy runs counter to U.N.-led peace efforts.

Tug-of-war over pulled WHO Italy report

A suppressed WHO report on Italy’s pandemic response says hospitals were “chaotic,” dangers to elderly went unrecognized, and training was haphazard.

New U.N. ‘day’ to aid efforts against epidemics

After holding its first high-level session on the pandemic, the U.N. General Assembly created a new “international day” to prevent health crises like COVID-19.

Asia-Pacific nations sign world’s biggest trade pact

Fifteen Asia-Pacific nations including China signed a pact to create the world’s biggest trading alliance, covering 30 percent of global GDP.

IPBES ties pandemic risks to nature crisis

Pandemics will become more frequent, faster-spreading and deadlier than COVID-19 if Earth’s natural life support systems are not restored, IPBES reported.

WTO to be led by woman from Nigeria or S. Korea

The final phase of a race to become WTO’s next director-general began with two well-qualified women from Nigeria and South Korea vying for the top post.

Trump pushes New START before election

U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to be pushing for a foreign policy win before Election Day, seeking to renew a nuclear arms control deal with Russia.

U.S. unilaterally restores U.N. sanctions on Iran

The U.S. followed through on its threat to unilaterally restore sanctions against Iran, defying widespread international criticism.

Saudi Arabia sentences 8 in Khashoggi murder

A court in Saudi Arabia sentenced eight people to prison for their roles in the 2018 orchestrated killing of Saudi journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.

Rebuilding tourism industry a U.N. priority

The pandemic could eliminate 40 percent of global tourism’s 300 million jobs — one of every 10 — and trillions of dollars essential to developing economies.

Cybercrime and terrorism profit off pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is being exploited to radicalize would-be terrorists and to target vulnerable networks used by hospitals and healthcare systems.

COVID-19 ‘most severe’ health emergency

The coronavirus pandemic is the worst global public health emergency to be declared under a 13-year-old international law for deadly disease outbreaks.

Chronic hunger threatens 130 million more

The number of people not getting enough nutrition rose by 60 million since 2014 — and the pandemic may add up to 132 million more this year.