Peace

‘Unprecedented Terrorist Violence’ in West Africa, Sahel Region

The top UN official in West Africa and the Sahel updated the Security Council on Wednesday, describing an “unprecedented" rise in terrorist violence across the region.

2020 Is the Decade of Action & It Has to Be a Sprint

Happy New Year, Kenya. 2020 marks a decade of action towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Peace and development are inextricably linked, with each making the achievement of the other far more likely. This puts the conflict-prevention and development work of the UN at the heart of the agenda in East Africa, but in a multi-agency and programme environment, making meaningful progress is challenging.

UN Chief Warns of Rising Misogyny, Xenophobia, Discrimination, Racism & Hate Speech

As we prepare to bid farewell to 2019, we must take a clearsighted look at the global situation and the new challenges we face. Our world is undergoing a shift. It is no longer bipolar or unipolar. But it is not yet truly multipolar. Balances of power are changing, creating new and dangerous risks.

Education for Constructive Change

We saw a hugely diverse selection of world leaders - from civil society, politics and business - seeking positive change at the UN General Assembly in New York in September. But the global reality is a political and economic environment that is increasingly divided. Boycotts. Protests. Narratives of hate.

The Ignoble Fall of a Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Appearing before 17 judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto civilian leader of Myanmar, became a public apologist for the military government of Myanmar which has long been accused of genocide and forcing over 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighboring Bangladesh since a 2017 crackdown.

Nuclear False Warnings & the Risk of Catastrophe

Forty years ago, on Nov. 9, the U.S. Defense Department detected an imminent nuclear attack against the United States through the early-warning system of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). U.S. bomber and missile forces went on full alert, and the emergency command post, known as the “doomsday plane,” took to the air.

IEDs: Tackling Terrorists’ Weapon of War

Some of the most memorable images of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, show her wearing a protective suit while touring a minefield in Angola in 1997 to raise awareness of the devastating effects of land mines.

Despite Halting Progress, UN Continues its Push for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East

A longstanding proposal for a regional nuclear-weapons-free zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East – one of the world’s most conflict-ridden regions – has been kicked around the corridors of UN committee rooms since 1974.

U.N. Group Launched to put Afghan Women at Centre of Peace Initiatives 

Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the United Nations this week launched a U.N. group that aims to put women at the centre of peace initiatives in Afghanistan. 

Achieving the Possible: “Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East”

A historic conference on the Middle East opened at the United Nations in New York on 18th November and will continue until 22nd November. The Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction is presided over by Ambassador Sima Bahous of Jordan.

With the UN Security Council in Paralysis, Are there New Hopes for Rohingya Muslims?

The 15-member UN Security Council (UNSC) stands virtually paralyzed in the face of genocide charges against the government of Myanmar where over 730,000 to one million Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh since a 2016 crackdown by Myanmar’s military.

The Slippery Slope to Autonomous Killing Machines

Would you trust an algorithm with your life? If that thought makes you uncomfortable, then you should be concerned about the artificial intelligence (AI) arms race that is secretly taking off, fueled by the arms industry.

World’s Spreading Humanitarian Crises Leave Millions of Children Without Schools or Education

As massive protests escalated worldwide last month, millions of children walked out of schools to demonstrate against the lackadaisical response – primarily from world leaders --to the ongoing climate emergency resulting in floods, droughts, typhoons, heat waves and wildfires devastating human lives.

Fearless Young Women and Insensitive Men

On October 11, the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee announced that this year´s Peace Prize is awarded to Ethiopia´s prime minister Abiy Ahmed: “For his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.”1 Let us hope that Abiy remains a worthy Peace Prize winner and that warfare and human suffering on the Horn of Africa will finally come to an end.

Trump Poised to Withdraw from Open Skies Treaty

The Trump administration is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing from the 1992 Open Skies Treaty, according to lawmakers and media reports. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, first sounded the public alarm in an Oct. 7 letter to National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien.

Africa’s Investment Drive Gathers Pace

Headwinds are blowing amid IMF warnings of a “synchronised slowdown” in global economic growth, yet Africa’s investment drive is still gathering pace, supported by intense international competition in development finance.

Holding Transnational Corporations Accountable for Human Rights Abuses

In Geneva this week, a treaty process is underway that promises to usher in a new era for human rights around the globe. The process—the intergovernmental working group on the binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights—could mean that for the first time, human rights would be prioritized above corporate profits.

Vibrant Civil Society Essential for Sustainable Development in Iran

2019 has not been a good year for Iranian human rights activists. At a time where civic space had completely closed, many watched in disbelief as the regime mounted even more restrictions on civil society. Over recent months, many activists have been arrested, like Noushin Javari (a photographer), Marzieh Amiri (a journalist), and Javad Lal Mohammadi (teacher).

Rural Poverty Is Still a Scar on the Soul of Colombia, but a New Program Supporting Agri-Entrepreneurship Can Help Heal the Wounds

Rural poverty and inequality continue inflicting large swaths of population in Colombia, especially in rural areas. This situation, endemic since at least the beginning of the twentieth century, was at the root of the 50-year long conflict that shattered the country, leaving 220,000 deaths and 5.7 million displaced persons, and devastating a significant part of the rural areas, where government services and infrastructure vanished.

Huge moment for Ethiopia as Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace prize

Ethiopia found itself in the global spotlight for all the right reasons after Abiy Ahmed, its young, dynamic prime minister was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Statement by NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland following the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2019:

"We congratulate Dr. Abiy Ahmed on the Nobel Peace Prize and his courageous efforts in bringing ambitious reforms to Ethiopia and offering the hand of peace to neighbouring Eritrea. The Norwegian Refugee Council is among the very few international groups operating in Eritrea and Ethiopia and assisting people in need in both countries. We have witnessed the dramatic improvement in relations between the two countries during Dr. Abiy Ahmed´s government after conflict and tension over the years produced displacement and suffering.

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