Humanitarian Aid Under Fire Calls for New Strategies

In the face of the growing number of crises taking place at the same time worldwide, humanitarian aid organisations – many of which have already reached their financial and logistic limits – are in desperate need of global coordination.

IPS at 50, Leads That Don’t Bleed

Tarzie Vittachi, a renowned Sri Lankan newspaper editor and one-time deputy executive director of the U.N. children's agency UNICEF, once recounted the oft-quoted story of an African diplomat who sought his help to get coverage in the U.S. media for his prime minister's address to the General Assembly.

Reluctant Farewell to Arms in Côte d’Ivoire

In his black boots and green fatigues – complete with arm patches bearing the name of the national army, Forces Republicaines de Côte d’Ivoire – Ousmane Kone looked every bit the soldier as he stood guard over an electricity and water distribution company one Tuesday afternoon in Abidjan.

“Justice Fallen to the Wayside” in South Sudanese County

South Sudanese soldiers are allegedly beating and torturing civilians in the midst of a disarmament campaign in Jonglei state, and many have been unable to access justice because of a lack of prosecutors and judges, according to the United Nations and Human Rights Watch. 

Armed Forces Still Dictating Côte d’Ivoire’s Law

Even as Côte d'Ivoire gradually recovers from the bloody events of the 2010-2011 post-electoral crisis, massacres in the western part of the country and the frequent sound of gunfire in the economic capital, Abidjan, are signs of the long road ahead.

Rights Groups Warn Against Diluted Arms Trade Treaty

After a week of tense negotiations, a United Nations preparatory committee concluded a final round of talks on Friday to define the rules of procedure for a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is expected to be finalised in July this year.

RUSSIA-VENEZUELA: Cold War Coming to the Caribbean?

Two Russian Tupolev TU-160 strategic bombers landed at Venezuela's main Libertador military airbase, 60 kilometres from the capital, "to carry out training flights" in the region, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

DISARMAMENT: Binding Treaty Eludes Small Arms Trade

The international community, which successfully negotiated treaties outlawing anti-personnel landmines and cluster bombs, has made little headway in drafting a U.N. convention to control the proliferation of illicit small arms.

Mujeres Unidas leaders Ramona Pérez, Petrona Pereira and Benigna Román. Credit: David Vargas/IPS.

PARAGUAY: Women’s Cooperative Buys in Bulk to Beat Food Inflation

Making the old saying "cheaper by the dozen" their motto, a group of women in a poor neighbourhood of Asunción created a cooperative to buy food in bulk, in order to combat the rise in food prices.

MIDEAST: Israel Sees Iran Threat Recede

In the clearest indication yet that Israel now believes Iran's nuclear aspirations will be curbed, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that efforts being undertaken by the international community will ensure that Tehran does not acquire nuclear capability.

RIGHTS-US: Congress Takes Action on Cluster Bombs, Child Soldiers

Human-rights and humanitarian groups are hailing provisions of a major appropriations bill approved by Congress this week that bans the export of most U.S.-made cluster bombs and U.S. military aid for foreign governments that use child soldiers.

DEVELOPMENT: IBSA Summit a “Political Endorsement” for Future Plans

A slew of co-operation agreements emerged from the second IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) summit in Pretoria, South Africa, this week.

POLITICS: UN Chief Relents on Restructuring World Body

Responding to widespread criticism from developing nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn or modified some of his controversial proposals to restructure the U.N. Secretariat - specifically in relation to disarmament, peacekeeping and political affairs.

POLITICS: Activists Warn UN on Downgrading Disarmament

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who last month acknowledged the positive role of civil society in the peace process in Africa, is facing the wrath of a formidable coalition of non-governmental organisations opposing his plans to restructure one of the politically sensitive departments in the world body: the Department for Disarmament Affairs (DDA).

POLITICS: Ban Tries to Avoid Roadblocks on Path to Reform

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, whose plans to restructure the U.N. Secretariat have hit a political roadblock, assured the 192 member states he is not heading towards a collision course with them.

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