The United Nations is fighting a losing battle against a rash of political and humanitarian crises in 10 of the world’s critical “hot spots.”
The United Kingdom has been accused
of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.
For a long time, citizens of the United States have firmly believed that their country has an exceptional destiny, and continue to do so today even though their political system has become totally dysfunctional.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups in Central and Eastern Europe, which still faced mixed prospects as they fight for rights and acceptance, are now taking some heart from the “failure” of a referendum in Slovakia, a member of the European Union.
When I am asked whether Europe is still a relevant “protagonist” in the modern world, I always answer that there is no doubt about it. For a long time now, the continent has been shaken by financial crises, internal security strategy crises – including wars – and instability within its borders, which definitely make it a protagonist in world affairs.
With international organisations warning that East Ukraine is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe as its health system collapses, marginalised groups are among those facing the greatest struggle to access even basic health care in the war-torn region.
At the same time as the United States, Canada and the European Union announced a set of new sanctions against Russia in mid-December last year, Ukraine received 350 million dollars in U.S. military aid, coming on top of a one billion dollar aid package
approved by the U.S. Congress in March 2014.
Marginalised communities and civil society groups helping them are warning of a “tragedy” in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) as international funding for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) programmes in the regions is cut back.
The new European Commission looks more like an experiment in balancing opposite forces than an institution that is run by some kind of governance. It will probably end up being paralysed by internal conflicts, which is the last thing it needs.
How can we explain that in the 2lst century we are still training millions of men and women in our armed forces and sending them to war?
Heightened tensions with longtime foe Armenia over breakaway Nagorno Karabakh and mediator Russia’s Ukrainian adventure appear to be pushing Caspian-Sea energy power Azerbaijan ever more strongly toward a military strategy of self-reliance.
When the United Nations commemorated its first ever "international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons," the lingering question in the minds of most anti-nuclear activists was: are we anywhere closer to abolishing the deadly weapons or are we moving further and further away from their complete destruction?
New military measures to deter what NATO perceives to be a direct threat from Russia were adopted at the alliance’s Heads of State meeting in Wales (Sep. 4-5). A few days earlier, President Barack Obama made promises in Estonia that the three tiny Baltic NATO member states would “never stand alone”.
Russia’s aggressive actions toward Ukraine are vexing Central Asian states.
While the United States, United Kingdom and NATO are pushing for war with Russia, it behoves people and their governments around the world to take a clear stand for peace and against violence and war, no matter where it comes from.
The appointment of Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini as the new European Union foreign policy chief offers the opportunity for an overhaul of EU foreign and security policy.
The NATO summit that took place at the end of last week in Wales was supposed to celebrate the end of a long, draining war in Afghanistan. But with the presidential election still up in the air in Kabul, NATO couldn’t enjoy its “mission accomplished” moment.
The crisis in Ukraine is a man-made disaster created by world leaders who have been trying to pull Ukraine apart - either towards Europe or Russia.
It is ironic that at this moment in history when so many people and nations around the world are acknowledging the 100th
anniversary of our planet’s hapless stumble into World War I, great powers and their allies are once again provoking new dangers where governments appear to be sleepwalking towards a restoration of old Cold War battles.
The recent call from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for “tightening belts” has convinced even optimists that something is deeply wrong with the Russian economy.
Doctors are warning of a worsening tuberculosis epidemic in Eastern Ukraine as the continuing conflict there begins to take a heavy toll on public health.