Global Governance

The Politics of the Hangman’s Noose: Judge, Jury & Executioner

A spike in state-sanctioned executions worldwide – including in Iran, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and more recently Myanmar – has triggered strong condemnations from the United Nations and several civil rights and human rights organizations.

The Myanmar Junta Continues to Wreak Death & Destruction

Myanmar has been embroiled in violence and civil unrest since the military ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup in February 2021. The initially widespread peaceful protests were crushed with deadly force by the military and police.

Fear Returns to Argentina, Once Again on the Brink

Darío is a locksmith in Flores, a traditional middle-class neighborhood in the Argentine capital, who will have to stop working in the next few days. "Suppliers have suspended the delivery of locks, due to a lack of merchandise or because of prices," he laments. His case is an illustration of an economy gone mad in a country that once again finds itself on the brink of the abyss.

The Tragedy of Pakistan: Feudalism Camouflaged as Democracy

In recent days, as Pakistan’s economic woes have intensified, a veritable cottage industry has developed to suggest ways of putting the country back on track.

We’re on the Cusp of the Most Catastrophic Food Crisis in 50 Years: Where Is the Global Response?

A growing mountain of data and analysis points to an unprecedented global crisis in the making, due to the convergence of “Four Cs” (Conflict, Covid, Climate and Costs).

UN to Host Over 190 World Leaders & Delegates — Despite Threats from a Deadly New Covid-19 Variant

The United Nations is planning to host a high-level “in-person” General Assembly session, September 20-26, with over 190 world leaders and delegates listed to speak, including heads of state, heads of government, high-ranking ministers and senior officials. The world body is apparently on a risky path, with hundreds of delegates due in New York for the opening of the 77th session—and, most worryingly, at a time when a new Covid-19 variant BA.5 is sweeping across the United States, including New York.

Reject CPTPP, Stay out of New Cold War

Joining or ratifying dubious trade deals is supposed to offer miraculous solutions to recent lacklustre economic progress. Such naïve advocacy is misleading at best, and downright irresponsible, even reckless, at worst. TPP ‘pivot to Asia’ US President Barack Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ after his 2012 re-election sought to check China’s sustained economic growth and technological progress. Its economic centrepiece was the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

A New World Order is Dawning – But will it be Liberal or Illiberal?

With the invasion of Ukraine, Russia effectively destroyed the European peace order. Now, Europe needs to find ways to contain its aggressive neighbour, while its traditional protector, the United States, continues its shift of focus to the Indo-Pacific.

Xenophobia in Mandiba’s Land: Too Black…Or Just Too Poor?

South Africa, the home land of the late giant fighter against Apartheid, racism and discrimination – Nelson Mandela “Mandiba”, is already ‘on the precipice of explosive xenophobic violence’ against migrants, refugees, asylum seekers - and even citizens perceived as outsiders.

Grassroots Organizing Should Dump Biden and Clear Path for a Better Nominee in 2024

Pundits are focused on Joe Biden’s tanking poll numbers, while progressives continue to be alarmed by his dismal job performance. Under the apt headline “President Biden Is Not Cutting the Mustard,” last week The American Prospect summed up: “Young people are abandoning him in droves because he won’t fight for their rights and freedom.”

A New Mideast Peace Plan: A Confederation of Israel, Palestine & Jordan

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which dates back to the mid-1940s, is one of the longest military confrontations defying a permanent solution – even as it continues to be on the agenda of the United Nations whose primary mandate is the maintenance of international peace and security.

Sanctions Are a Boomerang

Economic sanctions against countries whose behavior is reproached by the West operate as punishment although they fail in their declared political objectives, and in cases such as Venezuela the contrast is clearly on display in the windows of high-end stores that sell imported goods.

The Camel, the Needle– and the UN’s first Woman Secretary-General

A 2.0 version of an ancient Biblical saying reads: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a woman to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The male/female ratio for the Secretary-General stands at 9 vs zero. And the Presidency of the General Assembly (PGA), the highest policy-making body at the UN, is not far behind either.

New World Records: More Weapons than Ever. And a Hunger Crisis Like No Other

While the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Summit ended in Madrid on 30 June with net commitments to double spending on weapons and to increase by eight-fold the number of troops in Europe, the total of hungry people worldwide now marks an unprecedented record.

World Leaders Must Look at the Big Picture to Solve Food Crisis

From the worst drought in four decades threatening famine across the Horn of Africa to extreme heat in South Asia, the war in Ukraine and the unequal pace of pandemic recovery, global food systems are under extraordinary pressure.

The Urgency to Ban All Wars

On Sunday 19 June, we gathered in Sezano, municipality of Verona (VR), at the Monastery of the Common Good to affirm the need and urgency to ban war, all wars, and build peace without yes or no buts.

International Criminal Court at 20: Renewing the Promise of Justice for the Gravest Crimes

On 1 July 2022, the International Criminal Court (ICC) turns 20. The entry into force on 1 July 2002 of the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, officially created the Court and marked the start of its work towards building a more just world.

UN’s “No-Fly List” on Sexual Harassment Falls Short, Complains Rights Group

The United Nations has continued to crackdown on sexual harassment system-wide since 2017 while its “whistle blower protection policy” has provided “protective status” for nearly 68 UN staffers who reported wrong doing. But Equality Now, an international human rights organization, is accusing the UN of faltering on its longstanding “zero-tolerance” policy.

NATO Summit Set to Further Militarise Europe, Expand in Africa?

The three-day North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-NATO Summit in Madrid (28,29, 30 June 2022) is expected to agree to considerably increase Europe’s military power, heavily weaponise Russia’s border, and further expand its presence in Africa, according to a diplomatic source.

Jobs Will Not Empower Young Women Until We Address Sexual Harassment

What does empowerment for young women look like? For many, the answer would include jobs. But the belief that jobs bring empowerment through income, greater autonomy, and bargaining power within the family fail to recognise that these potential gains for young women are undermined by widespread sexual harassment.

Five Takeaways from the 2022 State of Civil Society Report

2022 is halfway through. It’s clear this is a year of immense disruption, mayhem and contestation. Horrendous war crimes are taking place in Ukraine. The conflict is spurring soaring living costs, impacting the most vulnerable people, already faced with the adverse impacts of the pandemic and extreme weather caused by climate change.

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