• Asia

    How Companies and Their Investors Pay Lip Service to UN Sanctions

    by  • November 5, 2017 • Asia, Nuclear Disarmament, Security Council, WORLDVIEWS • 

    If an investment, shareholding, credit or other financing tool benefits an enterprise or an individual that is  somehow violating a United Nations arms embargo or is committing atrocities, terrorist acts or proliferating weapons of mass destructions, is such an involvement contravening sanctions regimes and therefore breaking international law? Checking past and current UN Security...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    Where the Hungriest People in the World Live

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

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    UN Security Council Slaps More Sanctions on North Korea, Capping Fuel Imports

    by  • September 11, 2017 • Asia, Nuclear Disarmament, Security Council • 

    The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed an American-led resolution on Sept. 11, imposing tougher sanctions on North Korea, including a naval blockade and oil embargo, despite wariness from China and Russia. While the final resolution is a much-watered-down version of the original draft circulated to the Council by the United States last week,...

    Read more →

    In Lush Manipur, Women Work for Peace as Militarization Marches On

    by  • September 5, 2017 • Asia, Disarmament, India • 

    Manipur, a state of exceptional beauty in a little-known corner of northeastern India, was an independent region until 1949 when, in a controversial move, it was merged into the Indian union. Situated in an emerald green valley surrounded by nine blue mist-covered mountain ranges, the state has been seriously affected since 1949 by many...

    Read more →

    UN Chief Asks All Nations to Sign New Pact Protecting Women

    by  • August 21, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Gender-Based Violence, General Assembly, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, Women • 

    Haunted by accumulating reports of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls by United Nations peacekeepers and others attached to UN missions around the world, Secretary-General António Guterres is taking the bold, unprecedented step of asking all governments to sign a compact pledging to prevent and stop these violations. The compact is voluntary...

    Read more →

    At the UN, Pakistan Gets Respect

    by  • July 18, 2017 • Asia, Geopolitics, Nuclear Disarmament • 

    When Maleeha Lodhi arrived at the United Nations in 2015 as Pakistan’s ambassador, she brought with her a broad background in academia, journalism and diplomacy: a Ph.D. in political science from the London School of Economics, where she later taught political sociology; the first woman to edit major newspapers in Pakistan; ambassador to the...

    Read more →

    In Breakaway Abkhazia, Revived Traditions Put Women on the Edge

    by  • June 22, 2017 • Asia, Gender-Based Violence, Women • 

    SUKHUMI, Abkhazia — Here in the Caucasus region, hugging the Black Sea, this is what the capital of the small breakaway territory of Abkhazia looks like, more than 20 years after severing from Georgia: a city in tatters with abandoned buildings lining the streets and bullet holes still pockmarking the facades. The territory’s quarter...

    Read more →

    Mass Tourism: Bad for Culture but Good for Women?

    by  • June 13, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Development, Human Rights, Unesco, Women • 

    FLORENCE, Italy — This month, Italy’s tourism season kicks into high gear. Florence, which receives more than 16 million tourists a year, is one of many cities to be marred by mass travel. In the famously picturesque Piazza della Signoria, groups plod through the cobblestoned square, shepherded by flag-waving guides. Vendors peddle selfie-sticks in...

    Read more →

    At UN Session on North Korea, the US Shows It’s Back

    by  • April 28, 2017 • Asia, Geopolitics, Nuclear Disarmament, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Speaking to the United Nations Security Council at a meeting on North Korea held at the foreign-minister level, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asked member countries to join the United States in a strong campaign to enhance pressures on the Kim Jong Un regime, whose rapidly developing nuclear and missile programs have reached dangerous levels....

    Read more →

    Why Would Anyone Want This Job? The WHO Prepares to Elect a New Chief

    by  • April 24, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Health and Population, Sustainable Development Goals, UN Agencies, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    GENEVA — In late May by secret paper ballot, all 194 member states of the World Health Assembly that have paid their dues will cast their votes for one of three final candidates in the first-ever election of the planet’s top doctor: the director-general of the World Health Organization. The candidates are Tedros Adhanom...

    Read more →

    Broken Progress for Women in Politics; More Trafficking of Men; Diverse New York

    by  • March 28, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Gender-Based Violence, Human Trafficking, Take a Look • 

    New numbers from the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women show that progress of women in politics has stalled in parliaments and at executive levels of government or advanced marginally. The data form the basis of an elaborate Women in Politics 2017 map launched during the recent session at UN headquarters of the Commission on...

    Read more →

    What Is VX, a Banned Toxin, and Who Polices These Killers?

    by  • February 26, 2017 • Asia, Disarmament, Take a Look • 

    The chilling accusation by Malaysia that the assassins who killed Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, used the world’s most powerful chemical toxin has set off a global shockwave well beyond Asia. Malaysian authorities are convinced that a North Korean hit squad — one member an accredited diplomat —...

    Read more →

    Gas Discovery Could Solidify UN-Led Cypriot Peace Talks

    by  • January 25, 2017 • Asia, Geopolitics, Middle East • 1 Comment

    As Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have returned this month to try to settle their 42-year conflict once and for all, a powerful new economic incentive — a significant natural gas discovery — could provide the decisive chance for success to the peace talks on Cyprus. The background to the natural gas discovery and...

    Read more →