The unprecedented flow of arms to Ukraine, and the rising miliary spending by European nations to strengthen their defenses, are threatening to undermine development aid to the world’s poorer nations.
Now, since the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, the world’s attention has been focused on the war’s terrifying levels of death, destruction and suffering.
In the eyes of the Kremlin leadership, the basic precondition of the successful war against Ukraine has been the perceived power of the Russian Armed Forces and possible superiority over the Ukrainian forces.
How would the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu have reacted to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine? Differently than you might think.
The invasion of Ukraine is a mass human tragedy. It is killing Ukrainians, exposing families to violent atrocities, and has driven a refugee crisis of over 4 million people and counting. The war in Ukraine has also reawakened our fear of global war - even nuclear war - and the importance we place on global peace.
The retrenchment of American power in the Middle East and the larger Muslim world, coupled with the war in Ukraine, has provided a geopolitical breather for China. Beijing is effectively deploying this to make strategic inroads into the region, given this vacuum and focus on Europe.
The world is sailing into a perfect storm as key leaders seem intent on threatening more war, albeit while proclaiming the noblest of intentions. By doing so, they block international cooperation to create conditions for sustainable peace and shared prosperity for all.
Following 20 long years (2011-2021) of brutal war on Afghanistan by the US-led military coalition, which ended up in delivering the country to the Taliban in August 2021, 23 million Afghans now face severe and acute hunger, economic bankruptcy, healthcare system collapse, unbearable family indebtedness, and devastating humanitarian crisis.
“Hundreds of thousands have been killed, more than half of the pre-war population – somewhere in the order of 22 million - have been displaced. More than 100,000 are missing or forcibly disappeared….
In an opinion piece published in PassBlue on 15 March 2022, historian Stephen Schlesinger asked, "Where is the UN's Guterres?" as Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war on Ukraine has been dominating the world’s headline news.
While all eyes are on Ukraine, Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis has been forgotten. But only with international aid can Afghans build a future.
Ukraine is on fire. The country is being decimated before the eyes of the world. The impact on civilians is reaching terrifying proportions.
Countless innocent people – including women and children – have been killed. After being hit by Russian forces, roads, airports and schools lie in ruins.
Women are already leaders on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Sisters Nina and Helena Gualinga of the Kichwa Sarayaku community in Ecuador work tirelessly to protect Indigenous land. Archana Soreng from the indigenous Khadia tribe in Odisha, India is a talented climate researcher and advisor to the United Nations Secretary General. Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate is encouraging a whole generation of young people to fight for their right to a safe future. There are thousands of other women and girls working tirelessly to protect our planet whose names I do not know but who deserve to be acknowledged this International Women’s Day too.
The majority of the world wants peace. This is clear by now. Just consider the many large-scale anti-war demonstrations taking place around the world; and the outpour of solidarity and support for the people in the Ukraine and the more than one million Ukrainians who fled from their country.
Vladimir Putin’s recognition
of the independence of the two breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk followed a surreal live broadcast
of a security council meeting in the Kremlin. Sitting facing the 13-member council, Putin cajoled and argued as, one by one, his most senior officials – including Dmitry Medvedev, a former president and prime minister, and the country’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov – took to the lectern to provide their boss with “reasons” for the formal recognition of the two republics in the country’s east as independent states.
While living and working in Paris I joined the Cercle Suédois
, a social club founded in 1891, at a time when Sweden and Norway were unified in one kingdom. By that time, Alfred Nobel was a frequent guest and in one corner I sometimes ended up standing in front of the writing desk where he in November 1895 had written his famous testament, stipulating that 94 percent of his total assets (equivalent to 120 million USD in today’s money value) was to be allocated to the establishment of five prizes. These prizes would every year be awarded to deserving individuals, who ”irrespective of their nationality” had contributed to ”the progress of humanity and preservation of peace in the world.”
A rash of military coups in Africa has resurrected a long dormant question: should leaders who take power through armed insurrections be barred from addressing the United Nations—an institution which swears by, and promotes, multi-party democracy?
Regardless of a success or failure to reach a new agreement with Iran, Israel must not attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and must work closely with the US to develop a joint strategy to curb Iran’s ambition to acquire nuclear weapons and potentially end the conflict with Iran on a more permanent basis
On December 22, 2021, the UN Security Council voted unanimously
to allow for more humanitarian assistance to reach vulnerable Afghans, while preventing the abuse of these funds by their Taliban rulers.
Last week, I was delighted to speak to the United Nations Security Council. In the ten years that my country has been experiencing conflict, violence, and instability, dozens of conferences and other international summits have been held without ever really making room for those who are mobilized on a daily basis for more social justice, the defense of human rights and achieving Malian peace.
While absolutely ready to kill, with the biggest military powers spending in 2020 nearly two trillion US dollars on weapons, the world is shockingly unprepared to save the lives of millions of unarmed, innocent civilian victims of wars… and other man-made catastrophes.
On Jan. 3, the leaders of the five nuclear-armed members of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) issued a rare joint statement on preventing nuclear war in which they affirmed, for the first time, the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev maxim that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”