IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse

Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday Carnage: Quo Vadis?

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.

Media Landscape Marked by “Climate of Fear”

Journalists around the world are increasingly seeing threats of violence, detention, and even death simply for doing their job, a new press index found.

UN’s Empty Promises to World’s Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations, as in so many other areas, gives lip service in support of Indigenous issues while lacking the political will and enforcement power over individual member states to comply with the protection of fundamental human rights for the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of the world.

Empowering Girls Through Sport

For too long, women and girls have been excluded from the playing field—literally. But now, many are paving the way in the fight against gender inequality through sports.

Trump’s Veto Will Trigger More US Arms to Kill Civilians in Yemen

President Donald Trump’s decision to veto a bi-partisan Congressional resolution to end US military involvement in a devastating Saudi-led four-year conflict in Yemen-- is expected to escalate the ongoing war in the trouble-plagued region.

Nicaraguans “Will Not Be Silenced”

A year since Nicaragua spiralled into a socio-political crisis, human rights leaders have called on the country to refrain from violence and uphold the human rights of its citizens.

Ancient Rome Offers Lessons on the Importance of Sustainable Development

Sustainable development encapsulates the idea that material progress must always go hand in hand with social inclusion and respect for the environment.

Civil Society Under Attack in Name of Counterterrorism

Counterterrorism measures are not only affecting extremist groups, but are also impacting a crucial sector for peace and security in the world: civil society.

Religion & Development: An Enhanced Approach or a Transaction?

Since 2008, a number of articles/opinions have been written, on the nexus between religion and development. In chronological order, the articles first made the case for why ‘religion matters’ to the attainment of developmental objectives, noting how religious leaders are critical to changing social norms which can be in contradiction to human rights, and noting the extent to which faith-based organisations (FBOs) have anyway served as the original social service providers known to human kind.

People Do Not “Deserve to Die”: Injustice of Death Penalty Persists

While figures have dropped, the “inhuman” use of the death penalty still remains too common worldwide, a human rights group said.

Smears, Laws, Lack of Cooperation: Tools Against Activists

The murder of Brazilian politician and human rights activist Marielle Franco just over a year ago and attacks on other rights activists around the world have galvanised civil society organisations, with the United Nations heightening its own strategy to protect rights defenders.

Why New York Should Not Decriminalize Sex Trade

Prostitution policies are bubbling up again in legislative circles across the United States, but few representatives seem to have much clarity on the issue. 2020 presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris has given mixed messages on her thinking, while Bernie Sanders has said he simply has “no answer.”

Mobilizing Men as Partners for Women, Peace & Security

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.

NGOs Blast US for Undermining Criminal Court

As it paves a destructive path against international institutions and multilateralism, the Trump administration is slowly but steadily undermining the United Nations and its affiliated agencies.

Civil Society Leaders Meet Amid Protests, Attacks on Rights

Amid rising attacks on rights campaigners, and mass protests in countries such as France and Serbia, civil society groups are urging governments to ensure the protection of “democratic values” and freedom of expression.

Is Republic of China Still a Permanent Member of the Security Council – Despite its Ouster in 1971?

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.

Latin America Resets Its Strategy against Femicides

Several initiatives are seeking to strengthen the fight against femicides in Latin America, a region which, despite growing popular mobilisation and pioneering legislation against gender-based murders, still has the world's worst rates in what has been described as a "silent genocide," says U.N. Women.

Smart Cities hold Key to Sustainable Development

Asia and the Pacific’s phenomenal development has been a story of rapid urbanization. As centres of innovation, entrepreneurship and opportunity, cities have drawn talent from across our region and driven economic growth which has transformed our societies.

Education for All—Refugees Too

Young Rohingya refugees are now facing new hardships as the Bangladeshi government cracks down on their education and future opportunities.

Grassroots Organising Points the way in Fight Against Rising Repression

“I never thought it would get so big and I think it is amazing.” The words of a 16-year-old Swedish teenager who skipped school to protest outside her government’s inaction on climate change. Greta Thunberg is marvelling at how, in just a few short months, her solitary protests outside Sweden’s parliament, have inspired and united hundreds of thousands of young people and others across the globe into a powerful, growing grassroots movement for climate change action.

Sierra Leone: Bio Government’s First Year

If the government of Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio were to be graded on their first year’s performance in office, it is likely that their report card would read, “promising start, which they must surpass in the years ahead”.

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