I arrived in Somalia in September 2019, two decades after having worked here previously. I knew that I was taking up a challenging assignment, but I was also looking forward to seeing Somalia’s progress.
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.”
A brutal drama is unfolding in Ethiopia and it is difficult to find straightforward accounts of what is happening there. However, this does not prevent people from taking a unilateral stand for either of the factions involved in the disaster.
We are former UN officials with decades of combined experience supporting international civil society and governments to advance the rights of women and girls.
Israel’s nuclear presence in the Middle East is best characterized as “the elephant in the room” -– an obvious fact intentionally ignored with deafening silence.
The 21-month long pandemic, which began with the outbreak of the deadly corona virus back in March 2020, ravaged hundreds and thousands of businesses and industries resulting either in widespread losses, closures or bankruptcies.
In Hollywood movies, the legendary Wild West was routinely portrayed with gunslingers, lawmen and villains—resulting in the ultimate showdown between the “good guys and the bad guys”.
Linda Thomson-Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council early this month that the warring parties in the devastating 12-month-long civil war in Ethiopia involve the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Eritrean Defense Forces, the Amhara Special Forces, and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front.
Kenya’s secondary schools’ administration has been in the eye of a storm since schools reopened in October 2021. Since then, students have set on fire 35 schools and counting, forcing the government to announce an unscheduled break from school – ahead of the planned December 23 closing.
Tensions and hostilities persisted until early 2019, when the regime of Omar al-Bashir - to a large extent symbolized by oppressing minority groups in the Darfurs, Blue Nile state and South Kordofan - finally ended. Meanwhile, many inhabitants of the Nuba Mountains and other parts of South Kordofan, had escaped to South Sudan, which had become independent in 2011. There, they found, however, a country with even more interethnic strains and assaults, resulting, in addition to the innumerable internally displaced persons, the flight of 2.3 million citizens to six countries in the region. An area characterized by perpetual political and ethnic tensions which often resulted in border crossings in opposite ways. The present case of refugees from Ethiopia to the Republic of Sudan is an example of this phenomenon in the IGAD-region. (The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa that includes governments from the Horn of Africa, the Nile Valley and the African Great Lakes. Its headquaters is in Djibouti City)
When world leaders gather in Scotland next week for the COP26 climate change conference, activists will be pushing for drastic action to end the world’s catastrophic reliance on fossil fuels.
Hadn't it been so worrisome, it would be ironic to hear that humanity is to mark the World Disarmament Week
(Oct 24 to 30, 2021) barely six months after learning that the world’s biggest military powers had spent last year some 2,000,000,000,000 US dollars on killing machines.
In war-torn Syria, the support of Education Cannot Wait (ECW) – the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises – is bringing positive, life-changing educational opportunities tailored to children like 11-year-old Ali.
“Now is the time for a stronger, more networked and inclusive multilateral system anchored in the United Nations,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his latest report “Our Common Agenda.” Indeed, there is a fork in the road: we can either choose to breakdown or to breakthrough.
A growing diplomatic battle is being played out at the United Nations between Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and one of the world body’s member states: the politically-troubled Ethiopia which is desperately in need of international humanitarian assistance.
It’s bad enough that mainstream news outlets routinely call the Pentagon budget a “defense” budget. But the fact that progressives in Congress and even many antiwar activists also do the same is an indication of how deeply the mindsets of the nation’s warfare state are embedded in the political culture of the United States.
The USA and its allies have repeatedly stated that promoting women’s rights was one of the key reasons they were in Afghanistan. The US military top brass, in a letter to marines stated that they were in Afghanistan “for the liberty of young Afghan girls, women, boys, and men who want the same individual freedoms we enjoy as Americans”.
Most successful U.S. presidents have actively led efforts to advance arms control agreements and reduce the risk of nuclear war.
Although much has been achieved over the years, there are still 14,000 nuclear weapons and nine nuclear-armed states; progress on disarmament has stalled; and tensions between the United States and its main nuclear adversaries—Russia and China—are rising.
I assume channel surfing and internet browsing contribute to a decrease in people’s attention span. I am not familiar with any scientific proof, though while working as a teacher I found that some students may be exhausted when five minutes of a lesson has passed and begin fingering on their smartphones. They might also complain if a text is longer than half a page, while finding it almost impossible to read a book.
The global food system needs a massive overhaul – this was clear before the Covid pandemic and it is even more true today.
Feeding the world in a sustainable and healthy way is entirely possible but it is also inextricably linked to tackling the climate crisis by reaching net zero emissions, and to halting the dizzying decline in bio-diversity which is currently threatening the survival of one million plant and animal species.
When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan during 1996-2001, the United Nations was engaged in a losing battle for women’s rights.
And that battle was occasionally led by two senior female UN officials, one of them working for a UN agency providing humanitarian assistance inside unfriendly Taliban territory.
Kabul 1990. I land in the capital of Afghanistan for my very first mission with the United Nations. Controlled by the government, Kabul was surrounded by the Mujahedeen. As a young female professional, living and working across the country, I felt protected by the Afghans, whether walking in the bustling cities or meeting with the Mujahedeen in the rural countryside. Afghanistan had already been at war for over ten years and we all worked with the hope that the fighting would come to an end soon.