Democracy

Democracy on the Blink

On February 4, Sri Lanka commemorates 75 years of Independence. But it will not be the extravaganza of the past years, the minaturised imitations of the grand displays on Moscow’s Red Square or China’s Tiananmen Square.

Peru’s Democracy at a Crossroads

On 25 January, roughly six weeks after being sworn in following her predecessor’s removal, Peruvian president Dina Boluarte finally recognised that elections were the only way out of political crisis. Elections were rescheduled for April 2024, much earlier than the end of the presidential term she’s been tasked with completing, but not soon enough for thousands who’ve taken to the streets demanding her immediate resignation.

ASEAN Parliamentarians Cannot Escape ‘Lawfare’ or Violations of their Human Rights

Parliamentarians worldwide face increasing human rights violations and a greater risk of reprisal simply for exercising their mandate or expressing their ideas and opinions.

Erdogan’s Desperate Bid to Become the New Atatürk

As Turkey approaches its centennial anniversary this October, President Erdogan is stopping short of nothing to win the election in June to fulfill his life-time dream of presiding over the celebration. The Turkish people should deny him this historic honor because of the reign of terror to which he has mercilessly subjected his countrymen.

Chile’s Mapuche Indians Hurt by Rejection of a Plurinational Constitution

Mapuche indigenous leaders were hit hard by what they see as a collective defeat: the rejection in a September referendum of a plurinational, intercultural constitution proposed to Chile by an unprecedented constituent assembly with gender parity and indigenous representatives.

In Venezuela, Radio Stations are Shut Down and Information Is Just Another Migrant

More than 100 radio stations were shut down by the Venezuelan government this year, accentuating the collapse of the media and further undermining the already meager capacity of citizens to stay informed.

Can the UN do a Better Job with Democracy?

The UN Democracy Fund, also known as UNDEF, is an interesting tool but it is too small and lacking resources to mark a difference. How can the UN do a better job at promoting democracy? This is a key question that high-ranking policy makers at the UN should ask themselves.

The Decline and Fall of Democracy Worldwide

A head of state who presided over an authoritarian regime in Southeast Asia, was once asked about rigged elections in his country. “I promised I will give you the right to vote” he said, “but I didn’t say anything about counting those votes.”

UN Assessed Contributions Needed to Generate Core Funding for Climate Loss & Damage

For decades, there have been non-conclusive deliberations regarding how the international community could support poor and vulnerable countries in their efforts to cope with and recover from the havoc wreaked on their territory by the ill-effects of global warming such as severe droughts, floods, storms, or rising sea levels.

COP27: Landmark Win on Loss and Damage Fund

COP 27 delivered on what was the ‘litmus test’ for its success – consensus on the establishment of a fund on loss and damage. What seemed impossible was made possible, largely due to the unity of the G77 and China and the role of the Egyptian Presidency. Also important were efforts by civil society groups who put pressure on the United States, the main blocker to having the fund.

Making the UN Charter a Reality: Towards a New Approach to Development Cooperation?

We are living in a world where both our bilateral and multilateral achievements, consensuses on human rights and social justice, and our resolve to public good are being tested like never before.

COP27: Egypt’s Repressive Regime Under Fire—While it Hosts a Key Climate Summit

The COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh has triggered a negative fallout for Egypt’s authoritarian regime which stands accused of human rights abuses -- and has been widely condemned for its longstanding repressive campaign against dissidents and civil society organizations (CSOs).

A Beacon of Light in Dark Times: the Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders

Before she was murdered in Honduras in 2016, the Lenca Indigenous woman and human rights defender Berta Cáceres poignantly said: “They are afraid of us because we are not afraid of them.”

What Does it take to Build a Culture of Equality & Inclusion at the UN? Reflections from Inside a Change Process

The organisational is personal. Every day since the two of us were asked back in 2020 to co-lead the process of culture transformation at UNAIDS, the United Nations organisation which drives global efforts to end AIDS, we have both felt at our very core how crucial it has been to get it right.

Iranian Women Fight in the Streets, But Also from Home

It’s been over a month since Bayan, a 30-year-old Persian language teacher, last left her home in the Kurdish city of Piranshahr, 730 northwest of Tehran. Her parents believe they must protect her from what might happen to a protester in Iran.

Public Development Banks Can’t Drag Their Feet When It Comes to Building a Sustainable Future

A coalition of civil society organisations is demanding public development banks (PDBs) to take radical and innovative steps to tackle human rights violations and environmental destruction. No project funded by PDBs should come at the expenses of vulnerable groups, the environment and collective liberties, but should instead embody the voices of communities, democratic values and environmental justice.

Say “No” to Foreign Intervention in Haiti to Kill our People: We Stand Ready for Peaceful Transition of Leadership

Talks of an inevitable U.S. military intervention in Haiti are brewing within diplomatic circles. Without any constitutional or legal authority, our Haitian de facto government gave the green light for special forces to be sent to Haiti to combat our poor people-forgotten, jobless, left with no other choice for survival but the gang violence and insurrection ravaging the country.

UN Censures 42 Nations for Retaliating Against Human Rights Activists & Journalists

The United Nations has singled out 42 countries (out of 193 member states) for condemnation-- virtually blacklisting them-- for retaliating against human rights activists and journalists

Israel’s Democracy is in Peril

By all accounts Israel is considered a democratic country, but a close look at its domestic political combustion sadly reveals that Israel’s democracy is in tatters and is tearing at the seams. This is due to the political leaders’ dismal failure to summon their collective resourcefulness and energy to respond to the call of the hour

Africa is not a Country. It is a Continent.

“If all I knew about Africa were from popular images, I too would think that Africa was a place of beautiful landscapes, beautiful animals and incomprehensible people, fighting senseless wars, dying of poverty and AIDS, unable to speak for themselves”. This quote from the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is in the introduction to Dipo Faloyin's book 'Africa is not a country'. It summarizes Faloyin's book nicely.

Journalists, Under Threat, Need Safe Refuge Through Special Emergency Visas

“This woman sitting next to me, Maria Ressa, is a Nobel laureate and a convicted criminal,” said barrister Amal Clooney, who co-leads the international legal team representing Ressa. The founder of news website Rappler, Ressa has been targeted with a barrage of legal charges intended to stop her journalism in the Philippines.

Next Page »