Stories written by Rousbeh Legatis
Rousbeh Legatis joined the agency’s U.N. Bureau in New York in 2010, following a stint as freelancer with IPS’ Berlin office. In addition to his work as correspondent, he is also an advisor to young trainees in IPS’ internship programme at U.N. Headquarters. He further doubles as managing editor of IPS’ daily electronic newsletter, UN TerraViva, which is widely circulated in and outside the U.N. community. His coverage includes topics ranging from U.N peacekeeping and peacebuilding to human rights, conflict management and South-South cooperation. His academic research focuses on peace and conflict and the role of journalists and the media in post-conflict peacebuilding efforts in Africa and Latin America. He earned his B.A. in Social Science from Leibniz Universität Hannover and his M.A. in Political Science from Freie Universität Berlin.
Western analysts all too often take a distorted and reductionist approach to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), says Kai Koddenbrock, who analysed more than 50 policy papers for a study published in the journal International Peacekeeping in November 2012.
Despite existing local expertise and strategies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to build peace-supporting structures at the community level, official debates and media coverage continue to focus predominantly on military interventions.
Rape is often perceived as an individual trauma, but in reality its impact extends far beyond a single person and instead affects entire communities, complicating the already challenging task of helping victims of sexual violence.
Conflicts of interest can be viewed as drivers of societies and human development, although recourse to violence has destroyed millions of people’s lives and leaves generations wounded for decades and even centuries.
By now, the dilemma is well recognised but hardly solved: as the global population grows, resources become increasingly scarce. Indeed, food production will have to increase by a whopping 60 percent by 2050 in order to meet the future demand for food and agricultural products.
Human rights should be explicitly recognised as an indispensable ingredient of sustainable development at the Rio+20 summit in Brazil, says Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Building the cities of the future requires not only smarter planning but a profound shift toward greater equity and social justice, says Joan Clos, executive director of the U.N. Human Settlements Programme, or UN-HABITAT.
After Latin America and the Caribbean's "lost decade" of the 1980s, the region has experienced a period of "light and shadow", says Alicia Bárcena, executive secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Empowering rural women in the Iraqi marshlands, who mostly remain off the radar of international support, must involve local languages and dialects as well as local women trainers, says Mishkat Al Moumin, founder of the Iraqi group Women and the Environment Network (WATEO).
In Haitian refugee camps, women are still crammed under plastic or cloth tarps that provide no security and quickly become overheated by the sun. Sexual abuse, harassment, assault and rape run rampant, even as political responses to these dangers have stalled. But KOFAVIV, a women's organisation founded by and for rape survivors, offers a glimmer of hope.
Tools such as "gender markers", which screen budgets and resources dedicated to promoting gender equality, are proving critical to improving the effectiveness of monetary support that seeks to empower women and girls.
Promising methods of tracking aid funding intended to improve women's and girls' livelihoods also offer the possibility of revealing whether donors and policymakers are walking the walk when it comes to gender financing.
State and local Commissions on the Status of Women (CSW) are facing shrinking budgets and even total elimination at a time when women are some of the hardest hit by the financial crisis, says Susan Rose, vice chair of Human Rights Watch's Santa Barbara Committee.
Involving women in decision-making and resource management is a basic necessity for any effective plan to address the multi- layered and life-threatening consequences of climate change, says the head of UN Women.
As world leaders gear up to spend the coming weeks in South Africa haggling over economically bearable cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, climate change is already exacerbating environmental conditions and threatening the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Pacific Islanders.