Nearly every article on ‘space security’ begins with the acknowledgement that satellites and space-based services are critical for modern societies. And with good reason.
From the ashes of a tragedy that wiped out almost 90% of the city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, an institute called the Hiroshima Peacebuilders Center
(HPC) rose like a phoenix of hope that is pioneering the creation of a global pool of peacebuilders. It is driven by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development declaration that "there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.”
As a series of conflicts in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region come into sharp focus, sidelining local populations, the long-term environmental costs may leave the region degraded, poor and desperate.
It has been a long, arduous journey – a journey ridden curiously with obstacles and indifference. Two decades have passed by since the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted, by consensus and without reservation, its landmark and norm-setting resolution 53/243
on the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace in 1999.
August is immensely important in the history of the Asian subcontinent, marking the month that India and Pakistan gained independence
from the British in 1947. Now, in 2019, it has once again proved momentous, when, ten days before
India’s Independence day celebrations, prime minister Narendra Modi’s
government revoked the autonomy of Indian-administered Kashmir – a status provided for under the Indian Constitution.
When two-time Wimbledon tennis champion Boris Becker, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, refused to make a commitment not to play in South Africa, a country blacklisted for its apartheid policies, the UN children’s agency stripped him of the prestigious title, back in October 1987.
Everybody knows that nuclear weapons have been used twice in wartime and with terrible consequences. Often overlooked, however, is the large-scale, postwar use of nuclear weapons:
Fourteen-year-old Fanta lives in a tent in a settlement in Zamaï, a village in the Far North Region of Cameroon with her mother and two brothers. They came here more than a year ago after her father and elder brother were murdered and her elder sister abducted by the extremist group Boko Haram.
As I often do, I recently discussed the Syrian Civil War with a friend of Lebanese origin. He is far from supporting the Syrian regime, which occupied his country of origin between 1989-2008. My friend assumes the Syrian government was behind the assassination of Lebanon´s prime minister Bachir Gemayel, who in 1982 together with 26 others were blown to pieces by a bomb planted at the headquarters of the Lebanese Forces
. He also suspects Syria was behind the death of former prime minister Rafik Harari, who in 2005 was killed in a car bomb explosion. However, this does not make my friend an admirer of Israel or the U.S., which together with Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia meddle in Syria´s bloody internal strife. It is an almost impossible task to disentangle the mess of warring fractions guided by corrupt politicians, religious fanatics, liberal politicians, bandits, Mafiosi and/or foreign commercial and strategical stakeholders.
“I don’t want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this world disaster.” 1
These were the words of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 22 May 1940 when he learned of individuals profiting because of the booming arms trade industry during the Second World War. Seven decades down the line, President Roosevelt’s warning against the rise of the military-industrial complex and war profiteers is more relevant than ever and a telling testimony that for many in safe places war means profit. But, should the pursuit of economic profit be allowed to supplant ethical considerations, especially when weapons often end up in the hands of terrorists, human rights violators and criminal governments?
“It is all about orchestration”, was Martin Griffiths’, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, response to the question of what mediation in Yemen looks like today.
It has been 74 years since a nuclear devastation took place. But a clear message stands -- that nuclear weapons must go and peace and love must reign.
“Because if we forget the horrific consequences of the use of these devices, the likelihood of repetition is increased.” Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute told IPS, as the United Nations marked the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
More than 24,000 violations have been committed against children across the globe, including recruitment into armed forces, abduction, sexual violence, deprivation of basic needs, attacks on schools and hospitals-- and even murder.
The migrant and refugee crisis has become a serious test for the unity of Europe as a political project. The inflow of destitute migrants and refugees has tested Europe’s political unity to an unprecedented extent. With a long-term solution to the migrant and refugee crisis nowhere in sight, the adverse impact of the current situation has the potential to unfold further and to give rise to a broader crisis with long-term implications, affecting Europe and the MENA region alike.
On 22 July 2019, Kenneth Roth published an article in Publico, Lisbon, entitled: “UN Chief Guterres has disappointed on Human Rights”.
On 8 July, Bosco Ntaganda was by the International Criminal Court
(ICC) found guilty of crimes against humanity. The 41-year-old rebel leader, nicknamed The Terminator
, had ordered his fighters to "target and kill civilians", kidnap children to be brought up as soldiers and girls to become sex slaves, while personally partaking in the crimes. The Court had gathered evidence from 2,000 survivors from the rampage that Ntaganda and his army ran through the north-eastern Congolese region of Ituri, where beginning in 1999, 60,000 people have been murdered by warring rebel armies. Eighty witnesses testified directly during the court proceedings, thirteen were "experts" and the rest victims.