The pursuit of international peace and security has been on the agenda of international decision-makers ever since the establishment of the League of Nations on 10 January 1920. There has been a constant ambiguity about the way this commitment has been translated to practice. The Covenant of the League of Nations
committed itself “to promote international co-operation and to achieve international peace and security
”: nevertheless, the eruption of violence and geopolitical confrontations lead to another major confrontation two decades later. This reinforced the determination of the world community to redouble its efforts to promote peace and security. The Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue said that the UN Charter - adopted on 26 June 1945 - did not prevent the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and of Nagasaki less than two months later. The disastrous consequences of the Second World War was a terrible reminder of humanity’s ability to bring the world close to apocalypse. Partly for such reasons more than 60 million people continue to be forcibly displaced today and peace continues to be so elusive.
It is encouraging to see that the United Nations Security Council is beginning to acknowledge the transboundary dimensions of fragility and conflict, as demonstrated by its newly launched Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin region
. The report, which was presented in the Security Council on 13 September 2017, emphasizes the need for regional responses and enhanced cooperation of different UN and humanitarian agencies as an important step to addressing the unfolding humanitarian crisis.
French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a sombre speech at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, denouncing Myanmar’s “ethnic cleansing,” and calling for better protection of refugees in the world.
After finally breaking silence with a much anticipated address on the ongoing crisis in Rakhine State, Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has disappointed the world as she refuses to acknowledge the plight of her country’s Rohingya community.
I am here in a spirit of gratitude and humility for the trust you have placed in me to serve the world’s peoples. “We the peoples”, and our United Nations, face grave challenges. Our world is in trouble. People are hurting and angry. They see insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading and climate changing.
Not a single month has passed without dreadful disasters triggering desperate migrants to seek refuge in Europe. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 2,247 people have died or are missing after trying to enter Europe via Spain, Italy or Greece in the first half of this year. Last year, 5,096 deaths were recorded.
On 23rd August, just days before thousands of Rohingyas began fleeing their homes from Rakhine State, Aung San Suu Kyi’s recently appointed Rakhine Advisory Commission, established in 2016, submitted its final report
. The engaging of an independent Commission, tasked with recommending newer ways of improving the lives of Rohingya Muslims, Myanmar’s most deeply persecuted minority group, carried some weight of diplomacy.
In an environment full of major threats, countries must work together towards peace and stability, the Secretary-General said ahead of the General Assembly.
Rape, torture, pillage, murder and forced displacement by the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC) rebel forces are the new horrifying realities faced by communities in Basse-Kotto, Central African Republic, according to the prominent London-based human rights group Amnesty International.
Dear Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi,We learned today that you will address the Rohingya issue via television in Myanmar on 19 September - over 144 hours from now.
As hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims flee violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, thousands that remain in the country face mass atrocities at a scale never seen before.
When you were finally able to accept your Nobel Peace Prize, you spoke eloquently of the ultimate aim of a world in which “every corner is a true sanctuary where the inhabitants will have the freedom and the capacity to live in peace.”
A dramatic increase in the number of refugees fleeing Myanmar is placing a huge strain on already very limited resources in Bangladesh, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said.
Dauntlessly crusading against curbs on freedom of speech, fifty-five-year-old Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh was gunned down at her very doorstep in Bengaluru city on the evening of Sep. 5, taking three bullets of the seven fired in her lungs and heart. She was shot from just three feet away.
North Korea’s 5.9 to 6.3 magnitude nuclear test explosion September 3 marks a new and more dangerous era in East Asia.
A recent cholera outbreak in North-Eastern Nigeria has resulted in at least 186 suspected cases and 14 deaths as of Sep. 1, according to Borno State’s Ministry of Health.
Extreme poverty remains one of the world’s biggest challenges. According to the United Nations, 767 million people live in extreme poverty around the world. Although world society has managed to lift nearly 1 billion people out of extreme poverty – in 1999 it was estimated that 1.7 billion were affected by extreme poverty – the unprecedented rise of conflict and of violence in the Arab region has worsened the socioeconomic situation of vulnerable population segments in many countries. On 22 February 2017, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations –Stephen O’Brien – stated to the United Nations Security Council that 67% of the population in Syria is living under conditions considered as extreme poverty. In another Arab country affected by war and conflict – Yemen – the World Bank estimates that poverty affects 62% of the population, whereas the World Bank’s estimates this number to be at approximately 22% for Iraq or even as high as 40% in territories controlled by DAESH. Inevitably, conflict and violence have worsened the situation in the Arab region.
When Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposed the appointment of former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as UN’s Special Representative in Libya back in February, the proposal was shot down by US Ambassador Nikki Haley, purely because he was a Palestinian.
The battle to reclaim Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), has raised concerns among top UN officials as at least 20,000 civilians remain trapped under heavy fire in the city. Last week Monday, 42 civilians, including 12 women and 19 children, were killed in an air attack, according to the AP
Imagine a world with as many as one billion people facing harsh climate change impacts resulting in devastating droughts and/or floods, extreme weather, destruction of natural resources, in particular lands, soils and water, and the consequence of severe livelihoods conditions, famine and starvation.
The war in Syria has now entered its 6th
year and is becoming the world’s worst man-made disaster.