The United Nations is fighting a losing battle against a rash of political and humanitarian crises in 10 of the world’s critical “hot spots.”
The United Kingdom has been accused
of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.
When I am asked whether Europe is still a relevant “protagonist” in the modern world, I always answer that there is no doubt about it. For a long time now, the continent has been shaken by financial crises, internal security strategy crises – including wars – and instability within its borders, which definitely make it a protagonist in world affairs.
A concerted disinformation campaign is being conducted to manufacture consent for military action against the government in Tripoli and the town of Misrata, which has been at the forefront of toppling the despotic Gaddafi dictatorship.
It's easy to spot Saani Bubakar in Tripoli´s old town: always dressed in the distinctive orange jumpsuit of the waste collectors, he pushes his cart through the narrow streets on a routine that has been his for the last three years of his life.
It could be a squat house anywhere: music is playing non-stop and there is also a radio station and an art exhibition. However, weapons are also on display among the instruments, and most here wear camouflage uniform.
Winter has not yet hit this nearly besieged city, but children are already attending classes in winter coats and stocking hats.
At a time when HIV rates have stabilised or declined elsewhere, the epidemic is still advancing in the Arab world, exacerbated by factors such as political unrest, conflict, poverty and lack of awareness due to social taboos.
His journey started four years ago in Conakry, Guinea. Now that Mamoudou* has finally reached Italy, he hopes this will be his final stop.
The government of Mali and Touareg rebels representing Azawad, a territory in northern Mali which declared unilateral independence in 2012 after a Touareg rebellion drove out the Malian army, resumed peace talks in Algiers last week, intended to end decades of conflict.
As the Egyptian revolution against Hosni Mubarak celebrates its third anniversary, the military junta under General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is resurrecting dictatorship under the veneer of “constitutional” legitimacy and on the pretense of fighting “terrorism.”
The widespread sectarian violence and ongoing military conflicts in several political hotspots, including Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, have not only claimed thousands of human lives and devastated fragile economies but also undermined the U.N.’s longstanding plans to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty worldwide.
Everybody in this mountain village is seemingly familiar with the new regulations. “People other than militiamen or policemen will be fined 500 dinars [around 300 euros] for carrying guns,” local resident Younis Walid tells IPS.
Unless immediate changes are enforced, Libya is heading towards an "Afghan" model regarding women´s rights, Aicha Almagrabi, a Libyan writer and senior women rights activist, told IPS from her residence in Tripoli.
As the ongoing crises in some of the world's hot spots - including Syria, the Central African Republic, Mali, Libya, Palestine and Darfur, Sudan - continue unabated, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday singled out some of the biggest challenges facing the international community in 2014.