Columnist Service

OPINION: Non-Violence and the Lost Message of Jesus

I recently visited Assisi, the home of St. Francis and St. Clare, two great spirits whose lives have inspired us and millions of people around the world.

OPINION: The Sad Future of Our Planet

It is now official: the current inter-governmental system is not able to act in the interest of humankind.

OPINION: Europe Has Lost Its Compass

The Swedish Social Democrat government, which took office only two months ago, has just resigned. The far-right anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats sided with the four-party centre-right opposition alliance, and new elections will be held in March next year.

OPINION: The Role of the Media and Visibility for Malnutrition Around the World

The vast international and national media impact of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), held in Rome from Nov. 19 to 21, demonstrated the growing interest that nutritional problems are arousing worldwide, primarily because the media themselves are increasingly reporting issues related to poverty and exclusion.

OPINION: Addressing Climate Change Requires Real Solutions, Not Blind Faith in the Magic of Markets

Norwegians know something of life in a climate change world. Migratory birds arrive earlier in spring, trees come into leaf before previously expected, and palsa mires (wetlands) are being lost as permafrost thaws.

OPINION: The Suicide of Europe

The fact that in a referendum Switzerland has taken a path that goes in the opposite direction from that of Europe is an unusual fact which calls for reflection, especially because Switzerland has taken a much more progressive path, while we all were accustomed to see it as a very conservative country.

OPINION: Improve North Korean Human Rights By Ending War

On Nov. 18, a committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted 111 to 19, with 55 abstentions, in favour of drafting a non-binding resolution referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

OPINION: The Decline of Social Europe is Part of a World Trend

After the Italian sea search-and-rescue operation Mare Nostrum at a cost of nine million euros a month, through which the Italian Navy has rescued nearly 100,000 migrants – although perhaps up to 3,000 have died – from the Mediterranean since October 2013, Europe is now presenting its new face in the Mediterranean.

Civil Society Freedoms Merit Role in Post-2015 Development Agenda

Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, an advocacy NGO, is facing criminal charges for sending a tweet that said: “many Bahrain men who joined terrorism and ISIS have come from the security institutions and those institutions were the first ideological incubator”.

OPINION: Why Nuclear Disarmament Could Still Be the Most Important Thing There Is

At the height of the Cold War the world’s total arsenal of nuclear weapons, counted as explosive potential, may have amounted to three million Hiroshima bombs.  The United States alone possessed 1.6 million Hiroshimas’ worth of destructive capacity.

The Future of the Planet and the Irresponsibility of Governments

Less than a week after everybody celebrated the historical agreement on Nov. 17 between the United States and China on reduction of CO2 emissions, a very cold shower has come from India.

OPINION: Will There be Peace Between Iran and the West?

In just a few days, a meeting is scheduled that will be decisive for the security of the Middle East and of the whole world.

OPINION: Obstacles to Development Arising from the International System

As the international community wades into the political discussions regarding the alternatives to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015 and the design of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as mandated by the Rio+20 conference, it is timely to consider the question of whether development is a matter mostly of individual effort on the part of nation-states or whether there are elements in the international economic system that could serve as significant obstacles to national development efforts.

OPINION: The Irresistible Attraction of Radical Islam

The Oct. 23 attack on the Canadian Parliament building by a Canadian who had converted to Islam just a month earlier should create some interest in why an increasing number of young people are willing to sacrifice their lives for a radical view of Islam. 

OPINION: Rivalry Between Sunnis and Shiites Has Deep Roots

When  the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) suddenly emerged in Iraq, it declared as one of its first targets the Shiites and what it called the Safavids. The Safavid dynasty (1501-1736) was one of the most powerful Iranian dynasties after the Islamic conquest. 

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