Armed Conflicts

The Charter of the United Nations After 75 Years: Personal Reflections

The Charter of the United Nations is not only the constituent instrument of the United Nations as an organization. It is a multilateral legal manifesto encompassing a set of basic principles and norms aimed at ensuring peace, freedom, development, equality and human rights throughout the world. These principles and norms reflect the shared values proclaimed in the preamble on behalf of the “Peoples of the United Nations”. As such, it is the most innovative and trailblazing multilateral treaty ever concluded among States. Today, it is a universal instrument by which all States have solemnly accepted to be bound in their international relations.

Rohingya Women Take a Seat at the Table & Share Stories in a Growing Rights Movement

Rohingya women are coming together to feature their own work, plight and stories in mainstream conversations about their community — a space they say they’ve been left out of. “If we think of revolutions or liberty or think of any ways to liberate ourselves from the shackle of suffering and being dubbed as 'the most persecuted minority on earth', women have to be part of it,” Yasmin Ullah, president of the Rohingya Human Rights Network, told IPS.


Sino-Indian Disengagement at Galwan: Two Steps Back and One Step Forward?

On the first Sunday of July, there was an important telephone call between the Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi and the Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Duval. Some important decisions were announced thereafter. This is not to say that these were the outcome of that interaction only. For weeks the militaries of both China and India and their diplomats had been negotiating on the grounds of the disputed territory along the Line of actual Control at the Galwan Valley, as well as through other channels to end the bloodiest border stand-off between the two Asian powers that had lasted two months. True, while not a bullet was fired in anger, troops had battled with sticks and stones that left twenty Indian soldiers dead and, reportedly, an unknown number of Chinese casualties. Indeed, it appeared that the two sides, who had fought a war in the Himalayas in 1962, was yet again on the brink of a possible war.

The World Needs You. Now.

“We may all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now,” Martin Luther King Jr once said. His timeless wisdom rings truer than ever today for the many challenges the world is facing. COVID-19, continued armed conflicts and forced displacement, climate-change induced disasters, deep divides and widespread discrimination mark the human family in the 21st century.

Miracle or Mirage? Gangs and Plunging Violence in El Salvador

After decades of harrowing gang crime, homicides have plunged in El Salvador on the watch of the new president, Nayib Bukele. Faced with the growth of the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs, previous governments resorted to “iron fist” policies to crush them, only to find these fuelled a backlash.

UN Chief Warns of Deadly Germs as Potential Bioterrorist Weapons

The coronavirus—which has claimed the lives of over 538,000 people and infected more than 11.6 million worldwide—has destabilized virtually every facet of human life ever since its outbreak in late December.

Nuclear Testing, Never Again

Seventy-five years ago, on July 16, the United States detonated the world’s first nuclear weapons test explosion in the New Mexican desert. Just three weeks later, U.S. Air Force B-29 bombers executed surprise atomic bomb attacks on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing at least 214,000 people by the end of 1945, and injuring untold thousands more who died in the years afterward.

India’s Test along the Line of Actual Control

Being the sole candidate from the Asia Pacific region for the non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), India was elected by 184 votes in the 193-member United Nations’ General Assembly. on June 17, 2020.

Are We Going from San Francisco?

Seventy-five years ago, on 26 June 1945, before the Japanese surrender ending the Second World War, fifty nations gathered at San Francisco’s Opera House to sign the United Nations (UN) Charter.

COVID-19 Increases Suffering of Children in Conflict

The current coronavirus pandemic is having a profound affect on children in conflict zones -- with girls especially being at higher risk of violence and sexual health concerns.

The UN’s Failure to Act on Race

Racism is not only an American problem but a plague that people of African descent have had to endure since time immemorial. Rather than seizing this historic moment to act decisively, the United Nations, the world’s highest platform for human rights, dithered on the issue when it was called on to establish a full commission of inquiry on race following the outrageous killing of George Floyd on May 25 2020.

Q&A: Sexual Violence Survivors and their Access to Care Should not Be Forgotten

While the coronavirus does not discriminate, its impact does. And the needs of survivors of sexual violence in conflict "cannot be put on pause, and neither can the response” during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

When Old Age Catches Up, Even Nuclear Weapons Go into Retirement

The world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons—estimated at over 13,400 at the beginning of 2020 – have a least one thing in common with humans: they are “retired” when they reach old age.

The Sahel – ‘in Every Sense of the Word a Crisis’

The combination of rife insecurity, food insecurity and more than 7.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance has left the Sahel a region in crisis, with the global coronavirus pandemic expected to exacerbate the situation.

We Arabs Ask No Favors…..

In these difficult times for the Palestinian people and for justice, the Government of Israel is proposing to add further to the turmoil by unilaterally absorbing large swathes of the Palestinian West Bank of the Jordan River. It might therefore be fitting to remind the world of the chronology of the events leading up to the creation of the State of Israel in May 1948.

This Year of Living Dangerously

Indonesia’s founding President Sukarno delivered his annual Independence or National Day address on 17 August 1964 anticipating the forthcoming year as Tahun vivere pericoloso, the ‘year of living dangerously’. 2020 may well be the world’s turn, and not only due to the obvious Covid-19 threat to the world.

An Appeal to UN’s Budget Committee: It’s no Time to Cut Back on Child Protection

On February 26 this year, 15 South Sudanese children were released from armed groups and handed over to civilian child protection actors, including UNICEF and UNMISS, UN’s peacekeeping operation in South Sudan, who were able to facilitate the children’s safe return to their families.

War-Fighting in the Future and Our Current Hobson’s Choice!

Despite all the preoccupation with the current raging pandemic, it sadly appears that there has been no let-up in the global arms race among the major powers. In mid-May, the United States President Donald Trump, at an event for his new Space Force at the White House made a significant announcement, It was that the US was building right now an “incredible” new missile which would travel faster than any other in the world “by a factor of almost three”. This was obviously a response to the latest Russian ‘Avangard’ missile, which Russian President Vladimir Putin claims in invincible, with a speed of twenty times that of sound. The Chinese, reportedly are also feverishly working on their own hypersonic counterparts. All these would be strategic tools to significantly alter the war-fighting capabilities of humanity in the future.

No Woman Should Ever Die Giving Life

Consider this. 24 women, children and babies were murdered at a hospital in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Even by standards of a country as accustomed to bloodshed as Afghanistan, the May 12 attack on a Kabul maternity clinic was an event of unmitigated horror.

Innovation Is an Imperative – for Sustainable Food Systems

Hunger and food insecurity continue to rise. The official 2019 statistics refer to 821 million people suffering from hunger all over the world. According the recently launched Global Report on Food Crises, there are further 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. WFP estimates that due to the impacts of COVID19, additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. This means a total increase of 265 million people. If there will be no appropriate and urgent actions, “we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months”, said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, addressing the UN Security Council on 21st April.

As COVID-19 Burns, World’s Forgotten Wars Continue to take Toll on Civilians as Well

Earlier this year, just before the coronavirus virtually shut down international travel, I sat under a mesquite tree and listened to a rambling speech by a South Sudanese general at a military base outside of the capital, Juba.

Next Page »