Armed Conflicts

Education Cannot Wait Interviews Professor Mohammed Belhocine, Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation within the African Union


 
Professor Mohammed Belhocine is an Algerian national. Former Head of the Department of Internal Medicine, he held various positions in Algeria, at the Faculty of Medicine and the Ministry of Health, before joining the international civil service in 1997. Former Director of the Division of Non-Communicable Diseases at the WHO Regional Office for Africa (in Harare, then in Brazzaville), he was also WHO Representative in Nigeria and Tanzania. He ended his career as UN System Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Tunisia from 2009 to 2013. From June 2015 to February 2016, at the request of the WHO Regional Director, he returned to duty as WHO Representative in Guinea, playing an active role in providing technical support and expertise to the country's response to the Ebola epidemic. In October 2021, supported by his country, he was elected to the position of Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation within the African Union. Professor Belhocine is the father of three children and has six grandchildren.

Gender Rights: Resistance Against Regression

Global progress on gender rights has slowed almost to a halt. After decades of steady progress, demands for the rights of women and LGBTQI+ people now play out on bitterly contested territory. Over the course of several decades, global movements for rights won profound changes in consciences, customs and institutions. They elevated over half of humanity, excluded for centuries, to the status of holders of rights.

After 13 years in Conflict & Displacement, Syrian Women & Girls Must not be Forgotten

“I don’t think the world understands what it means to be a woman living in Syria today,” explains Shatha, a woman from Deir-ez-Zor, Syria, who is a survivor of gender-based violence. “It is a life filled with danger, grief, and daily struggle.”

Biden’s Balancing Act: Israel’s National Security vs Palestinian’s Humanitarian Crisis

In recent weeks, the Biden administration has found itself facing a serious dilemma as to how to balance its commitment to Israel’s national security along with the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinians in Gaza.

US Delivers Both Life –and Death– to a Devastated Gaza

The Biden administration’s sheer hypocrisy is reflected in its policy of dropping food packages into a devastated Gaza, while at the same time, it continues to arm Israel with missiles and heavy artillery to kill Palestinian civilians suffering hunger and starvation. As US Congressman Ro Khanna (Democrat of California) said last week: "You can't have a policy of giving aid (to Palestinians) and giving Israel the weapons to bomb the food trucks at the same time"

US Senators Say Biden Must End Arms Sales if Israel Keeps Blocking Aid

A group of senators said Tuesday that under U.S. law, the Biden administratio must cut off American military assistance to Israel unless the Netanyahu government immediately stops impeding aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip, where children are dying of starvation after months of incessant Israeli bombing and attacks on humanitarian convoys.

ECW Announces New Grant Funding for Ukraine’s Education Programs for Children Impacted by War

Education Cannot Wait and the government of Ukraine launch new multi-year program to support education for children impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.

Thailand’s ‘Humanitarian Corridor’ for Myanmar Faces Pushback

The Maung family is rebuilding their lives in a foreign land. A freshly painted signboard with a play on the word Revolution declares their small restaurant is open for business, and breakfast features traditional Myanmar mohinga—rice noodles and fish soup.

Mortality and Misery in the Hamas-Israel War

Estimates of mortality in the Hamas-Israel war after five months of fighting indicate a Palestinian death rate 80 times greater than the Israeli death rate. In absolute terms, the number of Palestinian deaths is 18 times greater than the number of Israeli deaths.

Netanyahu Is Rendering Israel Morally Bankrupt

Israel must uphold its moral values and make every effort to spare the lives of innocent Palestinians as it pursues Hamas’ destruction. The unfathomable massacre of Israeli Jews by Hamas and its insatiable thirst for Jewish blood has rightfully evoked the most virulent condemnation from many corners of the world, including many Arab states. The call for revenge and retribution by many Israelis was an instinctive human reaction that can be justified in a moment of incomparable rage and devastation.

Alarming Increase in Journalists Killed in Conflict Zones Last Year, says UNESCO

The Paris-based UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), whose mandate includes promoting the safety of journalists and ensuring press freedom worldwide, has pointed out that 2023 has been a particularly deadly year for journalists who work in conflict zones. Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, said at least 38 journalists and media workers were killed in the line of work in countries in conflict in 2023, compared to 28 in 2022 and 20 in 2021.

Gaza Massacre and Western Hypocrisy

Israeli troops opened fire targeting the Palestinians, gathered around food aid trucks, killing at least 112 and injuring hundreds on 29 February. The massacre happened, about a month after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered provisional measures for Israel to refrain from all acts under the Genocide convention. Ironically Israel was supposed to report to the Court, within one month, of all measures taken in line with its order. Israel has been emboldened by a beholden US.

Turkey Keeps Bombing Civilians in Syria’s Northeast

The Ramsys, a farming couple from northeast Syria, never thought they'd spend almost all their savings on solar panels. “We’ve paid 1,700 USD. We simply couldn't cope with darkness and being disconnected from the outside world,” Najma Ramsy tells IPS from her residence in Keshka, a small Kurdish village 70 km east of Qamishli.

Bearing Witness: No Safety for Children in Gaza

Nothing could prepare me for my recently concluded mission into the Gaza Strip, where children face catastrophic conditions. In my twenty years with UNICEF, traveling from one humanitarian crisis to the next – from famines to floods and war zones to refugee camps – I’ve simply never seen such devastation and despair as is happening in Gaza.

Female Genital Mutilation Continues Amid Sudan’s Conflict and Forced Displacement

Female genital mutilation (FGM) stands as one of the most egregious violations of human rights, particularly affecting women and girls worldwide. However, when conflict and forced displacement enter the equation, the horrors of FGM are exacerbated, creating a dire situation that demands urgent attention and action. Where instability and insecurity prevail, the prevalence of FGM often intensifies, exacerbated by factors such as displacement, poverty, and the breakdown of social systems.

UN’s Credibility at Stake—as Russia and Israel Continue to Remain Defiant

The two devastating military conflicts—Russia vs Ukraine and Israel vs Hamas—have exposed once again the stark reality that the United Nations, created 79 years ago to maintain international peace and security, has failed in its political mission – while its credibility is at stake. Russia is accused of violating the UN charter by invading a sovereign nation state and causing hundreds and thousands of deaths over two years --- with no signs of a peaceful settlement.

‘Unbounded’ Impunity Emboldens Israel

Israel continues to reject calls for a ceasefire in Gaza and now readies itself for an assault on Rafah with a Ramadan deadline for the release of all hostages. It emphatically says, it will oppose any international attempt at creating a Palestinian State, regarded as an “unilateral recognition”. Its unrestrained bombings and ground assaults so far have resulted in close to 30,000 Palestinian deaths more than half of whom are women and children. they have brazenly ignored the International Court of Justice (ICJ) order to take all measures to prevent a plausible genocide. Many thousands are facing starvation and death even when the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) demanded unhindered aid flows to besieged Gaza. All these were possible due to Israel’s ‘unbounded’ impunity which emboldens it.

No Ceasefire Gaza Threatens Humanitarian Aid, Raises the Palestinian Question

As negotiations within the UN Security Council and internationally continue, the humanitarian response to Gaza continues to be under threat.

Western States Scramble to Explain Themselves, as UN experts call for Arms Transfers to Israel to “Cease Immediately”

There are moments when international treaties, long forgotten by the general public, suddenly spring back to life. Moments when glimpses of reality shine through the thick-laden bureaucracies of the United Nations and catch the attention of the world outside.

Parcels for Prisoners: Exiled Myanmar Activists Keep the Revolutionary Faith

Rangoon Nights is rocking. The bar is on its feet and the cocktail shaker is shaking in abandon as the band Born In Burma starts pumping out its beat. Except we’re not in Rangoon or Burma (officially called Myanmar), but in the northern Thai town of Chiangmai which has evolved into a hub for activists, fugitives, and those taking a break from the war tearing their country apart.

Russia: Moments of Dissent after Two Years of War

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine marked its second anniversary on 24 February. And while civil society is offering an immense voluntary effort in Ukraine, in Russia activists have faced intense constraints. The suspicious death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny is part of a great wave of repression. He’s the latest in a long list of people who’ve come to a sudden end after falling out with Vladmir Putin.

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