United Nations

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.

Syrian Opposition to Boycott Geneva Talks

Syria's opposition will not participate in proposed international peace talks in Geneva next month, their leader has said.

OP-ED: Put a Spotlight on African Women’s Reproductive Rights

Victoria J. married in 2009 at age 14, and became pregnant shortly after. “I started labour in the morning on a Friday …. The nurse kept checking and saying I would deliver safely. On Monday she said I was weak.

African Troops Arrive As Divisions Fracture Malian Army

Soldiers belonging to the African-led International Support Mission to Mali continue to stream into this West African nation, as several hundred troops have already been deployed to secure towns across the country.

Forcing South Sudan’s Idle Youth into Farming

Police in South Sudan have begun press-ganging every "idle" youth they can find to provide labour on police farms. The State Police Commissioner in Northern Bahr al Gazal state says young men cannot be left to drink tea and play cards all day while food insecurity threatens the country.


Women Spend 40 Billion Hours Collecting Water

As the weeklong international conference on water concluded Friday, it was left to one of the keynote speakers from the United Nations to focus on a much neglected perspective on water and food security: the role of women.

Australian Detention Centres Risk Violating Human Rights

Australia's recent decision to move asylum seekers to offshore detention facilities has alarmed human rights organisations.

Intervention in Eastern Congo a Rising Priority for Activists

As the situation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to deteriorate in the wake of an armed rebellion that began in April, some activists have strengthened calls for foreign military intervention.

Sweden to Fund Innovations in Water Sector

When the international community was struggling to ward off a potential decline in development aid in early 2000, it came up with a novel idea: a proposal for "new and innovative sources of financing", including a tax on airline tickets and a levy on foreign exchange transactions.

Small Arms Trade Bigger Than Ever, Report Says

The goal of curbing small arms proliferation appears more elusive than ever, according to a report released this morning by the independent research project Small Arms Survey.

“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. 

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