US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt recently told the UN Security Council May 22 it was time to dismantle the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which has supported Palestinian refugees since it began operations back in 1950. Currently, over half of the 2.0 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which is under Israeli blockade, receive food aid from UNRWA.
President Donald Trump’s decision to veto a bi-partisan Congressional resolution to end US military involvement in a devastating Saudi-led four-year conflict in Yemen is expected to escalate the ongoing war in the trouble-plagued region.The weapons used by the Saudis in the reckless bombing of mostly civilian targets, including schools and hospitals, are largely from the United States: F-15 fighter planes, Bell helicopters, drones, air-to-surface missiles, M60 battle tanks, laser-guided bombs and heavy artillery.
The world’s ﬁve largest arms exporters in 2014–18 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China. Together, they accounted for a hefty 75 percent of the total volume of arms exports during that period.
After an exhaustive study of modern day slavery, the Geneva-based International Labor Organization concluded there are over 40 million people who are victims of slavery, including 25 million in forced labor and 15 million in forced marriages – with at least 71 percent of them comprising women and girls.
In most military conflicts worldwide, the ultimate winners are not one of the warring parties– but the world’s prolific arms traders, described by peace activists as “merchants of death.” According to a new study, the world’s five top arms suppliers are the US, Russia, France, China, and Germany. Together, these five biggest exporters have accounted for about 74 per cent of all arms exports during 2013–17.
The signs are ominous: the US withdrawal from UNESCO; the threats against member states voting for anti-Israeli resolutions; slashing funds to a 69-year-old UN agency for Palestinian refugees; withdrawal from the 2016 Paris climate change agreement; threats to “totally destroy” a UN member state, North Korea; a US-inspired $285 million reduction in the UN’s regular budget for 2018-2019, and the insidious attempts to wreck the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement.