IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse

Stab in the Back for Painful Afghanistan Election Process?

A knife fight late Tuesday among several auditors at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) still inspecting the results of the presidential elections held in mid-June could be the stab in the back for what has been a painful election process.

TNT and Scrap Metal Eviscerate Syria’s Industrial Capital

Numerous mechanics, tyre and car body shops used to line the busy streets near the Old City of Syria’s previous industrial and commercial hub.

Hezbollah Tacitly Accepted for the Sake of Lebanese Stability

Concerns about supporting a national army collaborating with a ‘terrorist organisation’ in Lebanon have in recent times been superseded by threats inherent in growing regional conflict.

Politics Complicates Education in Lebanon’s Refugee Camps

The Shatila Palestinian camp has no library, nor does adjacent Sabra or Ain El-Hilweh in the south. And, after recent statements by Lebanon’s foreign minister, some fear that the thousands of Syrian refugee children within them will soon have even slimmer chances of learning to read and write.

A Carrot Is a Carrot – or Is It?

Food security is often thought of as a question of diversifying supply and being able to move food through areas plagued by local scarcity, relying on the global economic system – including trade and transport – as the basis for operations.

‘Zero Tolerance’ the Call for Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation

Heightening their campaign to eradicate violence against women and girls, United Nations agencies and civil groups have called for increased action to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.

Touaregs Seek Secular and Democratic Multi-Ethnic State

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.

Outdated Approaches Fuelling TB in Russia, Say NGOs

When Veronika Sintsova was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2009, she spent six months in hospital before being discharged and allowed to continue treatment as an outpatient.

Ever Wondered Why the World is a Mess?

While the Third World War has not been formally declared, conflicts throughout the world are reaching levels unseen since 1944.

Sri Lankan Monsoon Comes for the Poor

By now, the tale has become almost mundane: first the rains remain elusive, refusing to quench the parched earth. Then, without warning, they fall in such torrents that they leave scores dead, hundreds injured, and thousands homeless, plus a heavy bill in accrued damages.

Ancient Kings Fight Climate Change

Life for a widow with young children in Sri Lanka’s poor agrarian areas can be harsh. Families in remote areas like Anuradhapura in the North Central Province barely eke out a living through paddy cultivation or through vegetable and other crops planted in cleared jungle shrub - Chena cultivation as it is called.

Somalia’s ‘Cultural Shift’ Means Less-Severe Form of FGM

Seven-year-old Istar Mumin lies on a bed, motionless, in one of the rooms of her family home in Mogadishu’s Hamarweyne district. She has just gone through the horrifying ritual of “the cut,” which was carried out by a local Somali nurse.

Former War Zone Craves Democracy

For the first time since Sri Lanka’s 30-year-long civil conflict drew to a bloody finish in May 2009, casting an eerie hush over the Northern Province that had grown accustomed to the sounds of war, there is a buzz in the air generated by the prospect of provincial elections that hold the promise of radical change.

The Future of the Pacific Ocean Hangs in the Balance

The immense scale of the Pacific Ocean, at 165 million square kilometres, inspires awe and fascination, but for those who inhabit the 22 Pacific island countries and territories, it is the very source of life. Without it, livelihoods and economies would collapse, hunger and ill-health would become endemic and human survival would be threatened.

Q&A: Turkish Opposition Leader Expects Unrest to Continue

As protests in Turkey stretch into their second week, the precise terms and conditions that could bring the social unrest to an end are unclear, though many speculate about what would end the deadlock between the government and protesters.

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