Democracy

Q & A: Escalating Tensions in Ethiopia adds to Tenuous Refugee Setting

Already reeling from conflict, extreme weather events and growing displacement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, escalating tensions in Ethiopia’s Tigray region have placed the country on the brink of civil war and many are looking to Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to avert a potential humanitarian disaster.

How Did Trump Get this Far?

To believe that Biden's triumph is the end of the drama that has unfolded since January 2016 is an example of a mirage with fatal consequences. Pretending that those more than 70 million voters who have followed Trump to the end will disappear from the map on January 20 with the inauguration of Biden and Harris reveals a blindness to how much America has changed in recent generations.

Drop Boxes Tell Tale of US Democracy in 2020

It sits stolidly, bolted onto a concrete base outside the Maricopa County Recorder’s office in Phoenix, Arizona. Weighing in at around 600 pounds,  it sports “anti-tampering features” and “heavy-duty, all-weather construction”. Security agents check it periodically and it appears to be watched by a camera. As I scrutinize it, a man in an SUV pulls up and deposits a ballot in its slot. He tells me he votes this way every election, then drives off.

US Groups Linked to COVID Conspiracies Pour Millions of ‘Dark Money’ into Latin America

Half a dozen US Christian right groups have poured millions of dollars into Latin America and have promoted misinformation about COVID-19 and other health and rights issues, openDemocracy can reveal today.

20th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325: Much Remains to Be Done

In 2010, at the opening session of the civil society forum observing the tenth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on “Women and Peace and Security”, I had the honor to declare 1325 as “the common heritage of humanity” indicating the wide-ranging nature of the potential benefits which will flow from the landmark resolution’s full and effective implementation by all at all levels.

The Day After

For Europe, the region closest by culture and political tradition to the United States, the mood of the day after the presidential election may be very different from that assumed a priori depending on the verdict.

$280m ‘Dark Money’ Spent by US Christian Right Groups Globally

US Christian right groups, many with close links to the Trump administration, have spent at least $280m in ‘dark money’ fuelling campaigns against the rights of women and LGBTIQ people across five continents, openDemocracy can reveal today.

Global Data Community’s Response to COVID-19

The world is currently counting more than 42 million confirmed cases of the COVID-19 and over 1 million deaths since the start of the pandemic.1

The Mental Health Consequences of the Lekki Toll Gate Attack

On October 20, 2020, young Nigerians who were protesting against police brutality were shot by men in Nigerian military uniforms. Unarmed, peaceful citizens were massacred at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

Mahatma’s Non-Violence: Essence of Culture of Peace for New Humanity

I will begin by presenting to you excerpts from the message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the International Day of Non-Violence.

Amid COVID-19, What is the Health of Civic Freedoms?

More than half a year after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, governments are continuing to waste precious time and energy restricting human rights rather than focusing on fighting the virus.

Time to End the Lethal Limbo of the U.S.-Mexican Drug Wars

Sporadic but spectacular acts of violence remind the global public of how deeply parts of Mexico have slid into lethal conflict over recent years.

The Lebanese Disaster

The 26th of September, the Lebanese prime minister Mustapha Adib stepped down after less than a month on his post. The president, Michael Auon, stated: ”Lebanon will be going to Hell if a new government is not formed soon.” The question is if his nation is not there already. A horrifying image of the state of the nation was provided on the 4th of August when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, stored in a dockside hangar, blew up in an explosion killing more than 190 people, injuring 6,500 and damaging thousands of buildings.

Papua New Guinea: Bougainville Elects Former Revolutionary Leader as President ahead of Tough Talks on Independence

Ishmael Toroama, a former revolutionary leader and fighter during the decade long civil war which engulfed the remote islands of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1990s, has been elected the autonomous region’s new President ahead of high-level talks about its political future.

Why Is Women’s Leadership Not in the Headlines?

The question has never been whether women can lead as capably as men. Women have always led, and women will always lead, especially when the times are hard, and their communities are in need. The question that we need to ask is, why is women’s leadership invisible? Why is their potential and their power stifled?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Forged a New Place for Women in the Law and Society

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has generated an outpouring of grief around the globe. Part of this grief reflects her unparalleled status as a feminist icon and pioneer for women in the legal profession and beyond.

Philanthropy’s Role in the Missing Global Architecture

The promise of the United Nations, as articulated 75 years ago, is a global system capable of managing global issues. As UN leadership knows, that promise is needed now more than ever in a multipolar world with increasingly complex challenges. This mission must be fulfilled, but is not possible without the collaboration of broad-based coalitions made up of innovative thinkers from all sectors of society working together.

The Culture of Peace: Change our World for the Better in the Age of COVID 19

Last year, we paid tribute to the 20th Anniversary of the 1999 Declaration of the Program of Action on a Culture of Peace. Today, we need to ask ourselves if we had genuinely carried out our moral responsibilities to transition from a culture of hatred and violence to a culture of tolerance and peace.

US Poll Predictions and Presidential Politics in the American Polity

The US residential polls are akin to a drama that is staged every four years in which the American are actors on stage and the rest of the world is the audience. With one major difference, however. While in a usual theatrical performance the viewers are there mostly for amusement, though some may be enlightened and enriched by the experience, in the case of the US elections, unlike in others, their fates are inextricably linked to the outcome of the play. This is not predetermined by any playwright, though it can often be predicted. It is not implausible therefore for some on-lookers to want to intervene in what’s happening onstage. It must be done discreetly, and with great circumspection. Take for instance, the Russians in the American elections in 2016. The Russians and President Donald Trump hotly dispute allegations of any such interference.

COVID-19: Presidents, the Press, and the Pandemic

The presidents of the Americas, beyond their ideological differences, seem to agree in questioning the role of journalists and the media in the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, human rights organizations remind us of the fundamental role of information, especially in times of crisis and uncertainty like the one we are experiencing in this 2020.

Americans By Force

Why, in the United States, where change is the most pronounced hallmark, do some aspects never change? Why do many bad habits resist giving way to novelties that prove to be the basis of the success of the most developed country on earth and still the leading power?  Why is the explanation for that leadership due to a few factors? Why does Trump profess a visceral opposition to immigration, knowing that it is the key to the country's success? Because millions of his compatriots interpret the sinew of American DNA as a threat to their comparative social advantage.

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