• Asia

    Rohingya Refugees Look to Washington and Find a Vacuum

    by  • July 30, 2018 • Asia, Geopolitics, Refugees, US Foreign Relations • 

    This August marks a year since a military crackdown forced at least 700,000 Rohingya to flee Myanmar for Bangladesh, joining hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who had already taken refuge there, totaling 1.1 million people encamped in Cox’s Bazar, according to a Bangladesh count done this July. But you would never know from the...

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    UN to Rohingya: You Can’t Go Home Safely Any Time Soon

    by  • July 15, 2018 • Asia, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Refugees • 

    Among refugee advocates there  has been a growing concern that recent agreements among regional governments and the United Nations on a framework for mitigating the Rohingya crisis could prompt at least some of the million-plus people who have fled the deadly military pogrom in Myanmar to consider risking a return to try to rebuild...

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    Thank You, UN, for Protecting Victims of Slavery and Other Cruel Practices

    by  • April 19, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Human Trafficking, International Justice • 

    While slavery and inhumane practices have still not been eradicated, the United Nations has done much to expose them and to help stamp them out. Its efforts continue. Early after its establishment, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights carried out a study on slavery. Its findings were riveting, and it made several policy recommendations...

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    The ‘Incredible Courage’ of Asma Jahangir, Pakistan’s Human-Rights Advocate

    by  • February 17, 2018 • Asia, Human Rights, Women • 

    Only a few days before Pakistan’s most famous human-rights advocate, Asma Jahangir, was felled by a heart attack on Feb. 11, she was speaking out in support of a group of ethnic Pashtuns who had marched across the country from their homes along the Afghanistan border to protest military brutality. A Pashtun boy had...

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    Zimbabwe Stuck With a Health Crisis Left by Mugabe Era

    by  • January 10, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Climate and Environment, Take a Look • 2 Comments

    Robert Mugabe, the only head of state that Zimbabwe had known since independence in 1980, was forced out of office by an unexpected coup in November 2017, and citizens of the economically battered country are now forced to tally the costs of his dictatorship. One of them is a health system in collapse. A...

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    Unprepared and Unprotected: UN Peacekeepers’ Lives Must Be Saved

    by  • January 9, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Peace and Security, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The 15 deaths and 43 injuries to United Nations troop personnel in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in December would not, sadly, have surprised those of us who have served in peace enforcement missions with the UN. These are difficult and dangerous places, where rebels have many advantages...

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    China’s Notions of UN Reform: Filling the Growing Vacuum Left by the US

    by  • January 3, 2018 • Asia, Development, Geopolitics, Peace and Security • 

    China has presented its position on United Nations reform, and it aligns with Secretary-General António Guterres’s own agenda. It pushes for practicalities, such as a transparent process, a stronger peace and security pillar, streamlined internal management and more geographic diversity in hiring practices in peacekeeping and the UN Secretariat. “The world is undergoing major...

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    Least-Developed Countries, a Status That Many Nations Can’t Leave Behind

    by  • January 1, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Development, Poverty, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    Since 1971, the United Nations has recognized least-developed countries as those deemed highly disadvantaged in their development strides because of structural, historical and geographical reasons. The aim has been, and still is, to support these countries to graduate to higher levels of self-sufficiency and economic independence, not in the sense for a privileged minority...

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    Words Ring Hollow From the UN After Attacks on Peacekeepers

    by  • December 27, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping • 1 Comment

    The horrific attack on United Nations peacekeepers from Tanzania in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in early December and the ensuing hours-long battle was a severe blow to one of the UN’s more prized forces, leaving 15 soldiers dead. But the UN was already so concerned with a rise in peacekeeper fatalities —...

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    Girl, Disrupted: How a Boarding School Shifted the Life of One Young Woman

    by  • December 13, 2017 • Asia, India, Poverty • 

    Shilpa Raj is not a Bollywood name, though she has starred in a documentary. She is not a best-selling author — yet. But she has written a frank, soulful book that can contribute to important discussions about the human costs of a disrupted childhood, however well-intentioned, based on her own extraordinary story. At the...

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    TB in India: Drug-Resistant Strains Are ‘Out of Control,’ New Report Says

    by  • October 27, 2017 • Asia, Health and Population, India • 

    Stephen Lewis is an outspoken and often impassioned Canadian diplomat and former United Nations official with a lot of experience in tracking health crises in Africa. Now he has turned his attention to tuberculosis in India, where he made a fact-finding trip in early October. He was shocked and disheartened by what he saw...

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    Where the Hungriest People in the World Live

    by  • October 25, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Poverty, Take a Look • 1 Comment

    The 2017 Global Hunger Index produced many sadly predictable findings but also worrying surprises. The report’s subtitle, “The Inequalities of Hunger,” suggests a reason. Naomi Hossain, the guest author of the report, looks at the power structures that can dictate every step of a food chain. “In food systems, power is exercised in a...

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    Afghan Women Write New Narratives About Themselves, With Courage

    by  • October 24, 2017 • Asia, Gender-Based Violence, Journalists, Women • 

    Throughout the world, Afghan women are often portrayed as victims by the media and other institutions, needing foreign rescue or summoning deep pity for their oppression. Women’s literacy rate is less than half that of men’s in the country, and it remains one of the worst places in the world for a girl to...

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    Janet Benshoof, Legal Activist, Seeks Help for Burma Through the Global Court

    by  • October 8, 2017 • Asia, Geopolitics, Human Rights, International Justice • 

    Photo of Janet Benshoof, a lawyer-activist, leads the Global Justice Center in New York.

    Burma has long been a unique country not only for its otherworldly landscape of pagodas and gold-topped stupas but also, paradoxically, as an isolated country where a nationalistic military has given itself extraordinary constitutional powers. Generals, who have warped the country’s Buddhist heritage over half a century, can now attack the Muslim-majority Rohingya people...

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    When Deaths Exceed Births, Countries Can Turn to Immigration

    by  • October 2, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Geopolitics, Health and Population, Migration, Refugees • 

    The demography is clear: when deaths outnumber births — excluding for zero immigration — populations decline. That simple yet powerful demographic relationship is irrefutable, regardless of geography, era, economics, political ideology or religious belief. Yet many politicians around the world, who typically have short-term perspectives, particularly those living in countries facing population decline and...

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    These Female Students in Bangladesh Want the Power Seat at the UN

    by  • October 1, 2017 • Asia, Education, Nikki Haley Watch • 1 Comment

    If you want to understand how Donald Trump’s America is being perceived by women in the global South, my students are a good place to start. I teach international relations at an all-female liberal arts college in Chittagong, Bangladesh, which follows a Western curriculum and is attended by 700 enthusiastic young women from 16...

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