I returned from attending a three-hour Easter Sunday mass at the Fordham University Church around midnight New York time on April 20, 2019, when my phone rang and a colleague asked me what’s going on in Sri Lanka? I said what is going on? He said there were a series of coordinated terrorist bombings with multiple fatalities and scores of injuries in my native country. For the next four and a half hours I was on the phone trying to piece together what happened, including reaching out to Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defence Hemasiri Fernando.
The past seventy years since the end of the second world war have been marked by profound changes in our international system. Relations between states have become more horizontally structured interactions with a rising significance of the common good articulated and pursued by newly-created international programmes and organisations.
Over a week ago – on April 3 – Brunei, the tiny South East Asian kingdom on the island of Borneo, announced its citizens would face the full force of the Shariah law.
As the first anniversary of the swearing on Ethiopia’s Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed rolled around last week, Ethiopians – and observers worldwide – marvelled at the pace and scale of radical reform he has brought to the formerly repressed country in the past year.
Counterterrorism measures are not only affecting extremist groups, but are also impacting a crucial sector for peace and security in the world: civil society.
In the first month of Bangladesh joining the Security Council in January 2000, President Nelson Mandela was in New York to report to the Council in his capacity as the UN-mandated facilitator of the Burundi Peace Process. In an informal setting, he shared with us that his efforts to include women in the peace table were not working as participating men stonewalled.
The Republic of China (Taiwan) withdrew from the United Nations in protest when it was ousted from its highly-prized permanent seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC) about 48 years ago.
Fifty years ago, shortly after the conclusion of the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the United States and the Soviet Union launched the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT).
The UK Government has announced an aid package to support hospitals in Gaza that are “near breaking point”.
The £2 million package will go to the International Committee of the Red Cross’s 2019 Israel and Occupied Territories (ILOT) Appeal. The aid will contribute to surgical equipment, drugs, wound dressing kits, prosthetics, and post-surgery physiotherapy for up to 3,000 disabled people.
If we ever needed proof of how the political system has become self-referential and unable to update itself, the latest student march in more than 1,000 towns is a very good example.
For over 70 years, the UN system has been perceived as the guardian of peace and development in the world. However, multilateralism today is undeniably under strain. The effectiveness of global institutions and of global policymaking is questioned, and alliances are fraying.
The Middle East, one of the world’s most politically-volatile and war-ravaged regions, has doubled its arms imports during the past five years, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
On March 11, we commemorate the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. To an outside observer, this anniversary passes as a technical progress report, a look at new robot, or a short story on how lives there are slowly returning to normal.
A reexamination of the role of the United Nations and a tallying of its successes and failure get underway as it prepares for the 75th anniversary next year in the world of the 21st century while its core entity, the Security Council, is trapped in the time warp of 1945, its founding year.
Human rights violations are at an all-time high in the Middle East and North Africa, and global indifference is only making it worse.
When Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States on 8 November 2016, the electoral triumph defied poll estimates and came as a surprise to observers and pundits. President Trump’s “America First
” agenda succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of many Americans and the allocation of votes pursuant to the electoral college gave Trump the edge, although he received nearly three million votes less than Hillary Clinton. With Trump at the helm, how would Washington’s new political direction affect international peace and stability?
The defeat of ISIS in Middle East and North African battlefields is now a reality. The terrorist group - which brought bereavement to the populations of the Arab region - has been defeated militarily in Iraq and in Syria.
The massacre of Srebrenica will enter human history as one of our darkest chapters. From 11 to 22 July 1995, Bosnian Serb military forces massacred approximately 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks. It became the largest massacre committed on European soil since the end of the Second World War. In November last year, the Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic was convicted of war crimes and of genocide. This constituted relief for the victims of the Srebrenica genocide and a victory for international justice after 22 years.
Between 1982 and 1988 Birgitta Karlström Dorph was on a secret mission in South Africa. "Why didn't they stop us? Probably they were not aware of the scope of the operation. The money was transferred through so many different channels. We were clever, " Karlström Dorph says.
The sudden peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the opening of their previously closed and dangerous border, sent shockwaves of hope and optimism throughout the two countries. But a new issue has arisen: whether Eritreans coming into Ethiopia should still be classed as refugees.
History testifies that there is no end to its evolution despite what some have claimed. This is because aspirations of its actors are in constant flux and because the quest for an « ideal city » is asymptotic.
Each generation wants to put its imprint on the present and to be the architect of its future in the pursuit of its own ideal.