Stories written by Roger Hamilton-Martin

Lack of Resources Hindering U.N. Efforts to Investigate Torture in Detention

The United Nations is unable to effectively assess the state of violations in detention centres around the world due to a lack of resources, said Malcolm Evans, Chairperson of the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT).

Boycott USA, Implores Chomsky

Professor Noam Chomsky, a renowned political activist and one of the strongest critics of U.S. foreign policy, called on the boycott movement to penalize the United States for the suppression of Palestinians.

Documents Detail Secret Talks Between Washington and Havana

In a new book cataloguing the recent history of clandestine exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, the reliance on secret intermediaries belies the common perception that the two governments rarely communicated during the decades that followed the Cuban revolution in 1959.

“No Planet B”: Marchers Demand Swift Action on Climate Change

On Sunday, Sep. 21, at least 300,000 people filled the streets of New York City ahead of the U.N. General Assembly and special one-day Climate Summit Sep. 23 to protest the ongoing lack of political will to cut global CO2 emissions and kick-start a greener economy. They came by bus and bike and train. They came with their kids -- some in strollers, others old enough to proudly carry signs. By afternoon, it had become clear that the march in New York was the biggest climate-change gathering in history. Protesters also turned out in more than 150 other cities around the world.

African Presidents Discuss Potential “Demographic Dividend” in the Sahel

Presidents from three Sahelian nations met Monday at the United Nations to discuss what may prove to be the only upbeat topic of the week at the General Assembly.

Survivors of Sexual Violence Deserve More Than Just Talk

“States must make concrete commitments to enable and protect women human rights defenders, so that they can safely and securely carry out their work in support of victims of sexual and gender-based violence,” Amnesty International told the Global Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict that wound up Friday in London.

‘Fortress Europe’ Closing the Doors to Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict in their home country have come up against a less than accommodating “Fortress Europe”.

Despite Recession, Global Migration on the Rise

New international migration figures released by the United Nations Wednesday show that more people than ever are living abroad. Around 232 million of the global population of seven billion are considered international migrants, simply defined as persons living outside their country of birth.

Censorship Threatens to Re-emerge in Myanmar

One year after the government officially struck down laws obstructing free press in Myanmar, a parliamentary bill could allow previous censorship practices to re-surge.

WHO Calls on Member States to Step Up Medical Research

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) annual report, released Thursday, emphasizes the importance of medical research in achieving the lofty goal of universal health coverage.

Commission of Inquiry on Syria Delivers Damning Human Rights Report

The U.N. General Assembly convened  Monday to hear a report by Paulo Pinheiro, Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria. Pinheiro exhorted to the international community that there is no military solution to the conflict, and that the war has been "a chronicle of missed opportunities."

Syrian Opposition Coalition Seeks International Support at U.N.

The National Coalition of the Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces informally met Friday with U.N. delegates and members of the Security Council to discuss changes on the ground and political transition in the country.

U.N. Struggles to Reach Displaced in South Sudan

Following fighting in the South Sudan state of Jonglei , the United Nations is trying to coordinate a humanitarian effort to help tens of thousands of people who have fled to the bush. The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an operation to provide food for those who have escaped the conflict.

U.N. Chief Shows Support for Revolutionary Solar Technology

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday  praised the work of Swiss engineers of a revolutionary solar powered plane. The aircraft recently completed a trans-American journey comprised of six legs taking roughly 20  hours each.

U.N. Urges Turkish Police to Exercise “Restraint”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay have advised “maximum restraint” following media reports of a violent police crackdown on peaceful protestors in Istanbul’s Gezi Park.

New U.N. Initiative Nudges Environmental Issues into Poverty Alleviation Policies

Should countries change the way they think about their development? This is the central question of the new joint initiative between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), called The Poverty-Environment Initiative.

Pew Survey Shows Deep Global Divisions on Attitudes Towards Homosexuality

"Should Society Accept Homosexuality?" A global Pew Research Centre survey was released yesterday, finding a wide variety of regional opinion on the question. Pew found that generally more positive attitudes were observed amongst younger people, and that in countries where a gender gap was observed, women tended to be more accepting than men.

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