Democracy

COP27: Landmark Win on Loss and Damage Fund

COP 27 delivered on what was the ‘litmus test’ for its success – consensus on the establishment of a fund on loss and damage. What seemed impossible was made possible, largely due to the unity of the G77 and China and the role of the Egyptian Presidency. Also important were efforts by civil society groups who put pressure on the United States, the main blocker to having the fund.

Making the UN Charter a Reality: Towards a New Approach to Development Cooperation?

We are living in a world where both our bilateral and multilateral achievements, consensuses on human rights and social justice, and our resolve to public good are being tested like never before.

COP27: Egypt’s Repressive Regime Under Fire—While it Hosts a Key Climate Summit

The COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh has triggered a negative fallout for Egypt’s authoritarian regime which stands accused of human rights abuses -- and has been widely condemned for its longstanding repressive campaign against dissidents and civil society organizations (CSOs).

A Beacon of Light in Dark Times: the Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders

Before she was murdered in Honduras in 2016, the Lenca Indigenous woman and human rights defender Berta Cáceres poignantly said: “They are afraid of us because we are not afraid of them.”

What Does it take to Build a Culture of Equality & Inclusion at the UN? Reflections from Inside a Change Process

The organisational is personal. Every day since the two of us were asked back in 2020 to co-lead the process of culture transformation at UNAIDS, the United Nations organisation which drives global efforts to end AIDS, we have both felt at our very core how crucial it has been to get it right.

Iranian Women Fight in the Streets, But Also from Home

It’s been over a month since Bayan, a 30-year-old Persian language teacher, last left her home in the Kurdish city of Piranshahr, 730 northwest of Tehran. Her parents believe they must protect her from what might happen to a protester in Iran.

Public Development Banks Can’t Drag Their Feet When It Comes to Building a Sustainable Future

A coalition of civil society organisations is demanding public development banks (PDBs) to take radical and innovative steps to tackle human rights violations and environmental destruction. No project funded by PDBs should come at the expenses of vulnerable groups, the environment and collective liberties, but should instead embody the voices of communities, democratic values and environmental justice.

Say “No” to Foreign Intervention in Haiti to Kill our People: We Stand Ready for Peaceful Transition of Leadership

Talks of an inevitable U.S. military intervention in Haiti are brewing within diplomatic circles. Without any constitutional or legal authority, our Haitian de facto government gave the green light for special forces to be sent to Haiti to combat our poor people-forgotten, jobless, left with no other choice for survival but the gang violence and insurrection ravaging the country.

UN Censures 42 Nations for Retaliating Against Human Rights Activists & Journalists

The United Nations has singled out 42 countries (out of 193 member states) for condemnation-- virtually blacklisting them-- for retaliating against human rights activists and journalists

Israel’s Democracy is in Peril

By all accounts Israel is considered a democratic country, but a close look at its domestic political combustion sadly reveals that Israel’s democracy is in tatters and is tearing at the seams. This is due to the political leaders’ dismal failure to summon their collective resourcefulness and energy to respond to the call of the hour

Africa is not a Country. It is a Continent.

“If all I knew about Africa were from popular images, I too would think that Africa was a place of beautiful landscapes, beautiful animals and incomprehensible people, fighting senseless wars, dying of poverty and AIDS, unable to speak for themselves”. This quote from the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is in the introduction to Dipo Faloyin's book 'Africa is not a country'. It summarizes Faloyin's book nicely.

Journalists, Under Threat, Need Safe Refuge Through Special Emergency Visas

“This woman sitting next to me, Maria Ressa, is a Nobel laureate and a convicted criminal,” said barrister Amal Clooney, who co-leads the international legal team representing Ressa. The founder of news website Rappler, Ressa has been targeted with a barrage of legal charges intended to stop her journalism in the Philippines.

Uyghur Violations a Litmus Test for Global Governance & Rules-based International Order

This week is a momentous one for the world’s premier human rights body. At stake is a resolution to decide whether the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva can hold a debate on a recently released UN report.

Reasonable Left, Irresponsible Right: & the Future of Social Democracy

With no shortage of catastrophes in the past 15 years worldwide — the democratic left is stepping up to provide stability amid the storm. Throughout the history of mankind, there have been catastrophes. In modern times, there have also been media representations of catastrophe, including worked-up or even imagined catastrophes.

Towards a More Secure Future Through Effective Multilateralism

As world leaders gather in New York for the opening of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly this week, the security horizon is undoubtedly dark.

UN Report Details Taliban Abuses in Afghanistan

This week, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, released his first report. It is a catalog of abuses under Taliban rule since August 2021 and their devastating impact on Afghans.

Racism Hurts People and Democracy in Peru

Banning the use of the same bathroom, insults and calling people animals are just a few of the daily forms of racism experienced by people in Peru, a multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual country where various forms of discrimination are intertwined.

The Journey to Defend Human Rights Never Ends

As you know, after four years as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, my mandate ends next week, on 31 August. The world has changed fundamentally over the course of my mandate.

An Unexpected Treasure

When University of Arizona political economy professor, William Mishler needed Kiribati census and household income data for a project he was working on with Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) he turned to the Pacific Data Hub (PDH) to access the microdata he needed.

Journalism Under Attack by Neo-Populist Governments in Central America

Practicing journalism in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador is becoming increasingly difficult in the face of the persecution of independent media outlets by neo-populist rulers of different stripes, intolerant of criticism.

Democracy in Iraq Under Threat Following the Storming of Parliament

The storming of the Iraqi parliament by supporters of Al-Sadr was motivated by years of political impasse — threatening Iraq's democracy and peace

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