Irwin Arieff is the editor of the 2010-11 and 2011-12 issues of "A Global Agenda: Issues Before the United Nations," a book published annually by the United Nations Association-USA, and contributes regularly to other UNA-USA publications. Before leaving daily journalism in 2007, Arieff was a Reuters correspondent for 23 years, serving in senior posts in Washington, Paris and New York as well as at the United Nations. He also wrote restaurant reviews for The Washington Post and Washington City Paper in the 1980s and 1990s with his wife, Deborah Baldwin.
Let's face it, the United Nations cafeteria is looking a bit forlorn these days. With a years-long renovation of UN headquarters under way, the cafeteria, which is located on the ground floor of the Secretariat complex at the south end of the UN compound, is pretty thoroughly boxed in by construction that includes asbestos removal.
The long search for an international agreement that can end violence in the Middle East is returning to the United Nations after the collapse of President Obama’s push for a quick peace deal through direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
The United Nations called world leaders to New York in September to review progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals and set a path for ramping up the effort over the next five years. But along the way, many of the leaders apparently lost interest. The eight goals, adopted at a 2000 UN global summit, set ambitious targets to be achieved by 2015 for easing hunger and poverty, spurring sustainable development and improving health, access to education and women’s rights.
As a former director of the World Health Organization, Anthony Piel knows how humanitarian relief efforts work. Piel, who is also a UNA-USA member in Sharon, Conn., recently published an op-ed on emergency aid to Haiti in a local paper, The Lakeville Journal. Here is his essay in full. The earthquake in Haiti is the worst human tragedy in recent memory, possibly eclipsing the Tsunami that hit Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in 2004, and the Hutu-Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, Burundi and Congo in 1994, with which I became involved as WHO liaison to the US military, who in spite of adverse press commentary, performed superbly. We are seeing the same in Haiti.