As the leaders of the BRICS five meet in the Russian city of Ufa for their annual summit Jul. 8–10, their agenda is likely to be dominated by economic and security concerns, triggered by the continuing economic crisis in the European Union and the security situation in the Middle East.
The “U.N. Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine”, which was referred to in an Inter Press Service (IPS) article of Jun. 2, does not, in my view, reflect many salient points.
The civilian population in Ukraine continues to suffer serious human rights abuses, intimidation and harassment by armed groups, including summary executions, as well as torture and ill-treatment by authorities in detention, according to the latest report from the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine released Monday.
The victory of the Conservative Party and the debacle of the Labour Party in the recent British general elections is yet another sign of the crisis facing left-wing forces today, leaving aside the question of how, under the British electoral system, the Labour Party actually increased the number of votes it won but saw a reduction in the number of seats it now holds in Parliament (24 seats less than the previous 256).
Events are being organised around the world to celebrate the 70th
anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, but a recent seminar held in the Austrian capital was not held to applaud the body’s past contributions.
The ‘West’ is a concept that flourished during the Cold War. Then it was West against East in the form of the Soviet empire. The East was evil against which all democratic countries – read West – were called on to fight.
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.
For a long time, citizens of the United States have firmly believed that their country has an exceptional destiny, and continue to do so today even though their political system has become totally dysfunctional.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups in Central and Eastern Europe, which still faced mixed prospects as they fight for rights and acceptance, are now taking some heart from the “failure” of a referendum in Slovakia, a member of the European Union.
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.
With international organisations warning that East Ukraine is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe as its health system collapses, marginalised groups are among those facing the greatest struggle to access even basic health care in the war-torn region.
At the same time as the United States, Canada and the European Union announced a set of new sanctions against Russia in mid-December last year, Ukraine received 350 million dollars in U.S. military aid, coming on top of a one billion dollar aid package
approved by the U.S. Congress in March 2014.
Marginalised communities and civil society groups helping them are warning of a “tragedy” in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) as international funding for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) programmes in the regions is cut back.
The new European Commission looks more like an experiment in balancing opposite forces than an institution that is run by some kind of governance. It will probably end up being paralysed by internal conflicts, which is the last thing it needs.