Democracy

The Race for the White House Is Heating Up

Brawn, brain and tears sum up the tone, temper and texture of the Republican and Democrat national conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia respectively. The fiesta, patriotic fervour, quiet but eloquent sobbing ,depth of speaker line-up and story-telling presentations fleshed out with anecdotes were the mirror -image of American electoral democracy in action.

The Human Rights Council adopts the Declaration on the Right to Peace

On 1 July 2016, the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations in Geneva adopted a Declaration on the Right to Peace by a majority of its Member States. It is the result of three years of work with all stakeholders led by Costa Rica, through its Ambassador Christian Guillermet-Fernández.

How Did We Arrive at This Chaos?

A Chinese curse is “May you live in interesting times”. That meant that too many events would disrupt the essential elements of harmony, on which the Chinese pantheon is based.We certainly live in very interesting times where every day dramatic events pile on us, from terrorism to coup d’etat, from climate disaster to the decline of institutions and ever increasing social turmoil. It would be important, even if very difficult, to look in a nutshell why we are in this situation now - "lack of harmony" . So here goes a dramatically compressed explanation.

El Salvador Faces Dilemma over the Prosecution of War Criminals

The ruling of the highest court to repeal the amnesty law places El Salvador in the dilemma of deciding whether the country should prosecute those who committed serious violations to human rights during the civil war.

Is Kemalism on Its Way out in Turkey?

The enigmatic coup-attempt in Turkey on the night of July 15 and 16 signals something ominous about the future of Turkey, NATO, and the entire region. There's more to read into the event than what appears on the surface. We don't know much about the nature of the coup, but it has definitely tarnished the “Turkish Model” of success, which its Arab neighbours envied, and European ones admired for the co-existence of liberal Islam, secularism, and democracy. The “abortive coup” seems to have further consolidated Erdogan's power, at least for the time being. Seemingly, Erdogan and his followers are marching together toward “illiberal democracy”, if not toward the utopia of Islamist totalitarianism.

Reluctant Warrior?

Much to President Ashraf Ghani’s relief, Nato has extended its mission in Afghanistan through 2017. The alliance reaffirmed its commitment to the troubled campaign at the Warsaw summit, as mass migration from Afghanistan continues to cause ripples across Europe.

Breaking the South China Sea Stalemate

I grew up in a remote small village of Catanduanes, an island-province on this side of the Pacific where we had no court of law nor even a village cell to detain those who disturbed the peace. By necessity, we were obliged to maintain a zero crime rate. But neighbors and spouses still quarreled, sometimes violently, and whenever this happened, the parties would come to my father, who had a reputation for being a just and honest man, to conciliate or arbitrate. He would talk to the parties, ask a few questions, and then advise them to overlook each other’s defects and compose their differences. Somehow it always worked.

Teachers and Students: Tip of Iceberg of Mexico’s Human Rights Crisis

Mexico is experiencing a monumental human rights crisis. There is abundant evidence of widespread human rights violations in the country, including torture, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and violence against journalists and human rights defenders.

US Elections Cry Out for Reform!

As many observers around the world have pointed out, the United States is no longer a true democracy. It is an oligarchy.The US government ignores the safety, wishes and needs of the majority of its citizens, and instead makes decisions which will bring profit to enormous corporations, or satisfy the wishes of powerful lobbies.

The Global South’s Untold Human Rights Legacy

While human rights are often viewed as a Western creation, pushed against the will of developing countries, the origins of the international human rights system may prove otherwise, according to a forum held at the the International Peace Institute (IPI) here Wednesday.

Civil Society Organizations Worried About Declining Involvement

Less than a year after the adoption of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), non-government organizations (NGOs) are concerned about declining possibilities for participation, both at the UN and in national politics.

Saudi Scapegoats

The eleventh day of September 2001 seems a distant memory now. On that day, 19 hijackers unleashed mayhem in the skies over the United States of America. Fifteen of these 19 hijackers, it would later be discovered, were Saudi citizens. Yet the war that ensued, that cast its bloody fingers deep into the Middle East and South Asia, would not be a war against Saudis. It was instead against Afghans, Iraqis and, at least via remote control, Pakistanis.

The UN and Global Economic Stagnation

When the financial crisis preceding the Great Recession broke out in late 2008, attention to the previously ignored UN Secretariat’s analytical work was greatly enhanced. This happened as the UN and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) had been almost alone in warning, for some years, of the macroeconomic dangers posed by poorly regulated financial sector developments.

Is a Referendum a Valid Tool for Democracy?

William Shakespeare would have loved to witness the Brexit. Many of his themes are evidently present: friendship and treason; truth and lies; deception and betrayal.

How Russia Will Use Brexit to Fight Sanctions

FORECAST EU sanctions against Russia are all but guaranteed to remain in place through 2016, but Moscow will work in the second half of the year to get them eased in 2017.Russia will capitalize on divisions in the European Union, which will only widen in the wake of Brexit, to oppose sanctions.Moscow will step lightly, however, to avoid provoking its European rivals ahead of the next sanctions vote.

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