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.

Q&A: “This Is Not Huntington’s World”

While a fine wine might get better with age, the same is not true for flawed political theories.

Q&A: Congolese Wrongly Branded as “Pathological”

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.

DRC Peacebuilding Ignores Local Solutions

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.

Q&A: Why ‘Rape Victims Must Talk About Their Trauma’

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.


Q&A: It’s the Beginning of the End for FGM

Journalists can play a crucial role in helping to shift traditional attitudes within societies where the cruel practice of female genital mutilation is an everyday reality.

Tarja Turtia. Courtesy of UNESCO

Q&A: Harnessing the Power of the Press to Build Peace

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.

José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Credit: FAO News

Q&A: Planting the Seeds for Sustainable Development

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.

Navanethem Pillay. Credit: Courtesy of UNHCHR

Q&A: Battle for Human Rights in Rio Is “Far From Over”

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.

Joan Clos. Credit: UN-Habitat

Q&A: “We All Have to Start Being City Changers”

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.

Mohamed Beavogui

Q&A: The World Must Learn From Smallholder Farmers

As Africa's Sahel region faces a new food crisis, smallholder famers hold the key to making future development policies sustainable.

Alicia Bárcena. Credit: Rousbeh Legatis/IPS

Q&A: “We Need to Change the Economics of Development”

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).

Mishkat Al Moumin, founder of the Iraqi group Women and the Environment Network (WATEO). Credit: Rousbeh Legatis/IPS

Q&A: Cultural Sensitivity Key to Reaching Rural Women

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).

Eramithe Delva, founder of KOFAVIV, a Haitian women's organisation founded by and for rape survivors. Credit:  Courtsey of KOFAVIV

Q&A: Group Founded by Rape Survivors Lifts Up Haitian Women

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.

Saraswathi Menon Credit: Courtesy of UN Women

Q&A: How to Analyse a Budget’s Impact on Female Empowerment

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.

Tracking aid funding can gauge its effectiveness for women. Above, an apprentice learns handicraft work that has empowered rural Indian women. Credit: Nitin Jugran Bahuguna/IPS

Following the Money Trail in Gender Financing

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.

Courtesy of Liane Schalatek

Q&A: Climate Funding Needs Gender Equity

Gender considerations remain largely disregarded in existing climate funds, even though women are some of the hardest hit by the impacts of climate change on livelihoods and agriculture.

Q&A: U.S. Women’s Commissions Under the Budget Axe

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.

Michelle Bachelet.  Credit: Sriyantha Walpola/IPS

Q&A: Climate Talks Must Ensure That “Words Become Reality”

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.

Q&A: The Finer Points of Rising Sea Levels

Long before the Pacific will rise to a level that will leave its estimated 30,000 islands submerged, most of them might be severely affected by frequent flooding and storms.

ASIA-PACIFIC: Refugees of Climate Change Rising Steadily

Asian countries, home to about 60 percent of the world's population, will be hit hardest by changing weather patterns and a degrading environment, research indicates.

CLIMATE CHANGE: A Rising Sea Threatens Pacific Islands

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.

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