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.
Every year, Afghan journalists celebrate their national day on 18 March. This year, there is little reason to party, because of general restrictions, increasing intimidation and a recent attack on journalists. However, at a unique gathering in Brussels, Afghan journalists showed resilience.
On Commonwealth Day, a powerful reminder of the values—justice, peace, equality, and inclusion.
Islamophobia is a ‘fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims that leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims and non-Muslims, both in the online and offline world.’
Putin’s regime recently suspended Russia’s participation in a nuclear arms agreement with Washington. After the decision Putin declared that the move was a retaliation for the US’s, France’s and Britain’s “targeting” of Russia with nuclear weapons. He was forced to take action to “preserve our country, ensure security and strategic stability”:
There is no better environment for the expansion of violent extremist groups than a vacuum in state authority. It provides ideal conditions for these groups to prey on existing and historical grievances, fill the void with promises of financial support, access to services and attention for marginalized, neglected communities.
Israel of today as a Jewish and democratic state is a contradiction
of terms and as such may possibly become transformed into a genuinely democratic Israel tomorrow with justice and equality for all.
While the world’s biggest powers and their giant private corporations continue to attach high priority to their military –and commercial– dominance, both of them being shockingly profitable, entire generations are being lost to deadly armed conflicts, devastating climate catastrophes, diseases, hunger and more imposed impoverishment.
An African proverb notes that “when two elephants fight, it is the grass underneath that suffers”. Many states in the global south are, therefore, seeking to avoid getting caught in the middle of any future battles between the US and China. Instead, they are calling for a renewal of the concept of non-alignment. This was an approach employed in the 1950s by newly independent countries to balance
between the two ideological power blocs of east and west during the era of the Cold War
The Ukraine crisis that erupted in February last year continues with no prospect for cessation. The intensified hostilities have inflicted great suffering in population centers and destroyed infrastructure facilities, compelling large numbers of civilians, including many children and women, to live in a state of constant peril.
Can you imagine what it would be like if women were simply not allowed to step outside of their homes, let alone to work for a living? When women choose to do so, and they can afford it, then it is a matter of choice. When women mostly cannot, as is the case in Afghanistan now
, not only is half the population imprisoned, but children go hungry, and communities sink deeper into poverty.
We are living in a world where both our bilateral and multilateral achievements, consensuses on human rights and social justice, and our resolve to public good are being tested like never before.
Arms are raised, stretched out towards the sky, holding white cards with the word "peace" written in different languages. A girl, a refugee from Syria, reads the Rome’s "Appeal for peace": "With firm conviction, we say: no more war! Let's stop all conflicts […] Let dialogue be resumed to nullify the threat of nuclear weapons.” Pope Francis singed it in front of the people gathered at the Colosseum, holding the word “peace” in their hands, as representatives of the world’s religions did as well. Shortly before, members of those different religions gathered for prayer to invoke peace in their different traditions—a prayer that is “a cry” inside the ancient amphitheater.
It usually takes hours of driving in a 4X4 before heading out on foot through a dense forest. There, protected under a sea of beech trees from the view of the drones, it is the guerrillas of the PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan) who find us.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen walks into a diplomatic minefield these days. He supports UN resolutions against Putin but does not want to jeopardize the long-standing friendship with Russia. At the same time, he tries to be less dependent on the West, both economically and politically.
It’s been over a month since Bayan, a 30-year-old Persian language teacher, last left her home in the Kurdish city of Piranshahr, 730 northwest of Tehran. Her parents believe they must protect her from what might happen to a protester in Iran.
A Mexican joke goes: “I kill people for money. But you are my best friend, so I will kill you for nothing.”
As world leaders gather in New York for the opening of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly this week, the security horizon is undoubtedly dark.
This week, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, released his first report
. It is a catalog of abuses under Taliban rule since August 2021 and their devastating impact on Afghans.
As you know, after four years as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, my mandate ends next week, on 31 August.
The world has changed fundamentally over the course of my mandate.