I try to hold on tight as my driver navigates his motorbike over a bumpy and muddy track. His helmet is decorated with a swastika and an eagle, part of an ill-inspired fashion trend called Nazi chic. It's symbolic for a country where hate and racism seen to have become normalized.
In a quiet street, the sound of children's voices can be heard from an open window. They are reciting verses of the Koran in unison. The small Islamic school lays hidden in a walled neighborhood where only Muslims live. This is an island of tranquility in Mandalay, the second-largest city of predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.
24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948.In his message to the world the UN Secretary General, Mr Antonio Guterres remarked
, “When we achieve human rights and human dignity for all people – they will build a peaceful, sustainable and just world”.
As the crisis in Myanmar reaches unprecedented levels, frustration is at its peak as the international community remains slow to respond and act cohesively.
The Austrian elections show clearly that media have given up on contextualising events. To do that, calls for a warning about Europe’s future, as a vehicle of European values is required. Europe has been weakened by all the recent elections, with the notable exception of France. Common to all, France included, were some clear trends, that we will hastily, and therefore maybe imperfectly, examine.
On September 29, 2017, Yvette Abrahams, an indigenous religious leader from Cape Town, South Africa who served as the country’s Commissioner For Gender Equality for five years, gasped when she learned that South Africa had just voted in favor of United Nations Human Rights Council resolution condemning the death penalty for those found guilty of committing consensual same-sex sexual acts. She could not believe that the United States had not.
Of the nearly half a million Rohingya refugees who’ve fled across the border and have sought refuge in Bangladesh, women and girls are the most at risk, sleeping under open skies, roadsides, and forest areas with little or no protection.
Women’s empowerment and gender equality should remain a central objective of the world community. The recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) includes specific provisions to member States of the United Nations – notably through SDG 5 - to commit to enhancing gender equality and to give women a stronger voice in the fight for equality. The Preamble of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights calls for “equal rights
” to be enjoyed by “men and women
”: 69 years later, gender equality has not only been recognised for what it is: a fundamental human right, it is also becoming a guiding principle in the efforts of States to attain the highest ideals of a just and inclusive society and the highest rate of growth.
Government action, rather than religious ideology, is a stronger predictor for radicalization in Africa, according to a two-year landmark study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
A Manual for Investigative Interviewing to abolish torture among detainees suspected of crime is in the pipeline, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said today.
The pursuit of international peace and security has been on the agenda of international decision-makers ever since the establishment of the League of Nations on 10 January 1920. There has been a constant ambiguity about the way this commitment has been translated to practice. The Covenant of the League of Nations
committed itself “to promote international co-operation and to achieve international peace and security
”: nevertheless, the eruption of violence and geopolitical confrontations lead to another major confrontation two decades later. This reinforced the determination of the world community to redouble its efforts to promote peace and security. The Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue said that the UN Charter - adopted on 26 June 1945 - did not prevent the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and of Nagasaki less than two months later. The disastrous consequences of the Second World War was a terrible reminder of humanity’s ability to bring the world close to apocalypse. Partly for such reasons more than 60 million people continue to be forcibly displaced today and peace continues to be so elusive.
French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a sombre speech at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, denouncing Myanmar’s “ethnic cleansing,” and calling for better protection of refugees in the world.
After finally breaking silence with a much anticipated address on the ongoing crisis in Rakhine State, Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has disappointed the world as she refuses to acknowledge the plight of her country’s Rohingya community.
Not a single month has passed without dreadful disasters triggering desperate migrants to seek refuge in Europe. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 2,247 people have died or are missing after trying to enter Europe via Spain, Italy or Greece in the first half of this year. Last year, 5,096 deaths were recorded.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), by virtue of its position of being the second largest international organization outside the UN system with 57 member countries comprising one fifth of the world population and covering Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, is indeed an important actor in dealing with rapprochement between cultures, in particular rapprochement between the Muslim World and its international partners like the USA.
On 23rd August, just days before thousands of Rohingyas began fleeing their homes from Rakhine State, Aung San Suu Kyi’s recently appointed Rakhine Advisory Commission, established in 2016, submitted its final report
. The engaging of an independent Commission, tasked with recommending newer ways of improving the lives of Rohingya Muslims, Myanmar’s most deeply persecuted minority group, carried some weight of diplomacy.
In an environment full of major threats, countries must work together towards peace and stability, the Secretary-General said ahead of the General Assembly.
Rape, torture, pillage, murder and forced displacement by the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC) rebel forces are the new horrifying realities faced by communities in Basse-Kotto, Central African Republic, according to the prominent London-based human rights group Amnesty International.
Dear Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi,We learned today that you will address the Rohingya issue via television in Myanmar on 19 September - over 144 hours from now.
As hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims flee violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, thousands that remain in the country face mass atrocities at a scale never seen before.
When you were finally able to accept your Nobel Peace Prize, you spoke eloquently of the ultimate aim of a world in which “every corner is a true sanctuary where the inhabitants will have the freedom and the capacity to live in peace.”