Human Rights

Small Island Nations Demand Urgent Global Action at SIDS4 Conference

“This year has been the hottest in history in practically every corner of the globe, foretelling severe impacts on our ecosystems and starkly underscoring the urgency of our predicament. We are gathered here not merely to reiterate our challenges, but to demand and enact solutions,” declared Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Brown at the opening of the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States on May 27.

Impressionism Festival Taps Into Global Concerns

By SWAN
On a clear, chilly evening, the words of African American poet Maya Angelou filled the air in the centre of Rouen, as a vivid light show played across the façade of the French town’s imposing cathedral, and as a bright full moon rose in the sky.

Veteran Human Rights Leader Has Seen Enough: Israel Perpetrating Genocide in Gaza

A widely respected humanitarian law expert who has resisted using the term "genocide" for Israel's killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza—a word used "sparingly" in the international human rights movement, he noted—said he has concluded a genocide is indeed taking place, evidenced particularly by Israel's blocking of humanitarian aid.

International Court of Justice Orders Israel to Halt its Military Offensive in Rafah

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offense in Rafah. "In conformity with obligations under the Genocide Convention, Israel must immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah Governorate which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part," the court said in it's revised order, which was passed by 13 votes to 2. South Africa approached the court on May 10, 2024 for a modification of provisional measures as prescribed by the court. The court also ordered that Israel must take effective measures to ensure the unimpeded access to the Gaza Strip of any commission of inquiry, fact-finding mission, or other investigative body mandated by competent organs of the United Nations to investigate allegations of genocide. Israel was also ordered to ensure that humanitarian aid should be “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” and that Israel should maintain open land crossing points, in particular the Rafah crossing. The full order can be read here. IPS UN Bureau Report
 
  

Slovakia PM Assassination Attempt Sparks Journalists’ Safety Fears

Fears for the safety of journalists in Slovakia are growing in the wake of an assassination attempt on the country’s prime minister, which some politicians are blaming in part on local independent media. Relations between some media and members of the governing coalition, led by Prime Minister Robert Fico’s Smer party, have become increasingly tense since the government came to power in October last year.

How Netanyahu Made the Creation of a Palestinian State Irreversible

It is ironic how Prime Minister Netanyahu, who vehemently opposed the establishment of a Palestinian state, made it all but irreversible because of his misguided policies and extreme ideological bent.

Lessons From Youth-Focused ‘Future Action Festival’ Ahead of UN Summit of the Future

The world has crossed the halfway point to the end of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) era amid multiple, unprecedented, and significantly destructive global shocks. Two of the most pressing global challenges are the climate crisis and the threat of nuclear armament. Of serious concern is a severe lack of youth engagement on issues of critical global importance. Speaking to IPS during the 2024 UN Civil Society Conference, the outcome of which will inform high-level discussions when the UN hosts hundreds of world leaders, policymakers, experts, and advocates in September at the Summit of the Future in New York, Tadashi Nagai stressed the importance of coalition and movement building and youth engagement to escalate progress towards attainment of the SDGs.

Democracy, Civic Space and Fundamental Freedoms Are under Attack, but Civil Society Is Here to Stay

During the Forus network’s General Assembly which took place in Gaborone, Botswana, civil society organisations from across 65 countries highlighted the challenges facing them globally in an increasingly polarised and crisis-hit world.

North Macedonia Turns Back the Clock

The old guard is back in North Macedonia, as the former ruling party – the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE) – returns to parliamentary and presidential power.

Empowering Women Could Boost Fertility, & Economic Growth in Japan and Korea

Women in Japan and Korea face especially tough challenges juggling career and family. Many young women witness their peers encountering promotion delays after marriage and childbirth, dealing with problems splitting housework responsibilities, and having difficulty finding adequate childcare.

Education Cannot Wait Interviews Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative to Haiti


 
Bruno Maes is the UNICEF Representative in Haiti. He officially took office in August 2020. A Belgian national, Mr. Maes previously served as UNICEF Representative in Madagascar from 2007 to 2012, in Chad from 2012 to 2015, and recently in Egypt from September 2015 to 2020.

Education Cannot Wait’s #ShareTheirVoices Global Advocacy Campaign Launched by ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif in Lead Up to United Nations Summit of the Future

In the lead up to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ Summit of the Future, taking place on 22-23 September 2024, Education Cannot Wait is supporting the global #ActNow Campaign with an urgent call to increase funding for the +226 million crisis-impacted children worldwide urgently in need of an education through ECW’s global #ShareTheirVoices campaign.

The Pact for the Future Must Include the Unique Needs of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Persons

This month, non-governmental actors from across the world recently convened in Nairobi for the UN Civil Society Conference in Support of the Summit of the Future to demand that their issues are prioritized in the Pact for the Future – which is envisaged to turbocharge the sustainable development goals.

International Community Urged to End Impunity for Violence Against Healthcare in Conflicts

Governments and international agencies must do more to end impunity for violence against healthcare, campaigners have urged, as a new report shows that attacks on healthcare during conflicts reached a new high last year.

ICC War Crimes Charges a Milestone but Falls Far Below Expectations

The ICC Prosecutor’s applications for arrest warrants regarding the Situation in Palestine represent a milestone. But they are of little credit to Prosecutor Karim Khan.

Panama’s Elections: Has Impunity Prevailed?

Regional experts called it Panama’s most important election since the 1989 US invasion that deposed de facto president General Manuel Noriega. Panamanians went to the polls amid high inflation and unemployment, with a stagnating economy. Endemic corruption was also high on their long list of concerns, along with access to water, education and a collapsing social security system.

ICC Move to Seek Warrants for War Crimes in Gaza Triggers a Backlash from US

The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to seek warrants on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has triggered a strong backlash both from the Biden administration and a group of pro-Israeli Senators in the US Congress. The names in the ICC arrest warrants also include Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri (Deif) and Ismail Haniyeh—all leaders of Hamas.

Billions will Vote this Year – LGBTIQ+ People Must not be Excluded

This year has been called the ‘super election’ year, with 3.7 billion people potentially going to the polls. This historic political moment is also an opportunity to reflect on what these billions of voter experiences will look like. Who will vote, who can run for office and who might be excluded from the political process?

Afghan Women Struggle with Soaring Mental Health Issues

Afghanistan is grappling with a growing crisis of mental illness, particularly among its women, as highlighted in a United Nations report. Officials from the mental health department at Herat regional hospital have observed a concerning uptick in the number of women afflicted by psychological disorders in the province.

Solomon Islands: A Change More in Style than Substance

There’s change at the top in Solomon Islands – but civil society will be watching closely to see whether that means a government that’s grown hostile will start doing things differently.

The US a Direct Partner in the Israeli War

A major mistake we often commit in our analysis of the US political discourse on the Gaza war is that we assume that the US and Israel behave as if they are two political entities with separate agendas and sets of priorities.

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