Although the dire impact of the Israel-Hamas war has touched many countries in the region and beyond, no foreign country has been so profoundly affected by the war than Jordan. Israel must mitigate Jordan’s concerns to save its critical alliance with its neighbor while fully collaborating in the search for a permanent resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Two centuries ago, Percy Shelley wrote that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Yet elite power has routinely vetoed their best measures. Still, the ability of poetry to inspire and nurture is precious, including when governments are on protracted killing sprees.
As one of America’s closest allies, Israel has remained heavily dependent on the US —politically, economically, and militarily—since its creation in 1948.
US arms supplies, mostly provided gratis, are channeled via US Foreign Military Financing (FMF), Military Assistance Program (MAP) and Excess Defense Articles (EDA).
Unless Israel establishes an exit strategy and an end-game that will lead to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in full coordination with the US and Saudi Arabia, the war against Hamas will only be another brutal violent episode that will prepare the ground for the next conflagration that will engulf the West Bank and potentially set the entire region on fire.
In 1968, the tobacco company Philip Morris
introduced a new cigarette brand called Virginia Slims
. Under the slogan “You’ve come a long way, baby” it was exclusively marketed to women. The advertising campaign exploited the civil rights movements of the 1960s, indicating that those cigarettes were enjoyed by strong, independent, and liberated women. A blatant lie – why would “independent” women choose to poison themselves with a commodity which each year causes more than 480,000 deaths in the US alone – nearly one in five deaths? Another question arising from this deceitful ad is: “How far have women come on their way to independence and liberation?”
This year – 2023 - started with a commemoration of one year of war in, and on Ukraine, which has dramatically impacted the price of basic needs for the world’s populations in every corner of the world. It is an ongoing calamity for a world already living its worst collective food, public health and conflict-based insecurities.
In the heart of Central Asia, a nation renowned for its rich cultural diversity, multi-ethnic society, and spiritual traditions has emerged as a global beacon of interfaith harmony and understanding. Over the past two decades, Kazakhstan’s Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions (The Congress) has played an instrumental role in promoting dialogue, forging unity, and advocating for peace among diverse faiths worldwide. Rooted in Kazakhstan’s deep spiritual heritage and wisdom, this initiative has evolved into a symbol of international cooperation and tolerance. As we reflect on its remarkable journey and look ahead to its future under the leadership of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, it becomes evident that the Congress is poised to make even greater strides toward fostering global harmony and unity.
It is not a secret that the world is witnessing rising international tensions and erosion of the global order that has been in place since the establishment of the United Nations. Divisive blocs, which have not been seen since the Cold War, are making a swift return. As a result, our planet is facing severe threats, including a new global arms race, the threat of the use of nuclear weapons, and the proliferation of wars in all formats, including hot, hybrid, cyber, and trade.
Cecilia Erzuah was torn between two opposite career paths at the end of university. The week she was supposed to begin military training, her professor offered her a position as an assistant to a lecturer.
As it did last year, the 2023 United Nations General Assembly has been debating what role the United Nations and its members should play in the crisis in Ukraine.
Along the 180-kilometer-long buffer zone separating the north and south of Cyprus, there is a surprising sign of unity: recycled ammunition boxes no longer hold bullets. They are home to baby birds.
Sundus* scans the news before she heads home, checking for signs that her 30-minute commute could turn into a four-hour-long slog. Any incident could make travel difficult.
Sometimes Sundus waits for her father to call and tell her if the checkpoints around their home are open. After living in Hebron, a city in the West Bank, for the last 20 years, she is used to planning her day around unpredictability.
Exactly 32 years ago, on August 29, 1991, Kazakhstan, then part of the Soviet Union, made a historic decision that would alter its fate. On that day, Kazakhstan permanently closed the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site, defying the central government in Moscow. This marked the start of Kazakhstan's transformation from a nuclear-armed state, possessing the fourth-largest nuclear arsenal at the time, to a non-nuclear-weapon state. Kazakhstan's audacious move to eliminate its nuclear weapons was rooted in a profound commitment to global disarmament, setting an inspiring precedent.
This September, world leaders and public policy advocates from around the world will descend on New York for the UN General Assembly
. Alongside conversations on peace and security, global development and climate change, progress – or the lack of it – on the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) is expected to take centre-stage. A major SDG Summit
will be held on 18 and 19 September. The UN hopes that it will serve as a ‘rallying cry to recharge momentum for world leaders to come together to reflect on where we stand and resolve to do more’. But are the world’s leaders in a mood to uphold the UN’s purpose, and can the UN’s leadership rise to the occasion by resolutely addressing destructive behaviours?
The President of the UN General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi, struggled to find a reason to celebrate the 13th International Day against Nuclear Tests. There have only been five nuclear tests, all conducted by North Korea since the day was declared in 2010. Still, Kőrösi said he sees a world plagued by more distrust, geopolitical competition, and conflict than before.
Just after a band of mercenaries tried to oust the government in the Maldives back in 1988, I asked a Maldivian diplomat, using a familiar military catch phrase, about the strength of his country's “standing army.”
"Standing army?", the diplomat asked with mock surprise, and remarked perhaps half-jokingly, "We don't even have a sitting army."
The role of water in conflicts is changing, with more attacks against environmental and civilian infrastructure. Dr Martina Klimes of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) recently held a lecture describing the shifting security landscape and how water can be both a weapon and a victim of war – and sometimes a tool for peace.
The world is in permanent crisis mode. In addition to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, the war in Ukraine and other violent conflicts, a worldwide cost of living crisis and an intensified debt crisis in more and more countries of the global South are affecting large parts of humanity.
The current war in Ukraine has shown that nuclear deterrence is deeply flawed. It relies on the assumption of “rational actors” in power and credibility of threats, which we know are far from reality, especially in times of conflicts.
There are about 5 billion people
globally who cannot access surgery. In Ethiopia, for every 5,000 needed surgeries per 100,000 people, the country’s health system can only provide 192.
Yet, this is Africa’s second largest population, with over 120 million people.
Come April 1, a post-Ukraine Russia, will preside over the UN Security Council in a month-long presidency on the basis of alphabetical rotation.
But Russia will not be the first or the only country – accused of war crimes or charged with violating the UN charter—to be either a member or preside over the most powerful political body in the United Nations.