January 2012

Changes at the UN’s Upper Levels

The United Nations World Food Program has named Ertharin Cousin of the United States to replace Josette Sheeran, also American, when Sheeran’s five-year term as executive director ends in April. And Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, based in Geneva, has been nominated for a second five-year term by the agency’s …

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Unsafe Abortions Add to Global Maternal Deaths

Nearly half the abortions that take place worldwide are now unsafe, with women in parts of Africa and Latin America faring the worst, a new report by the World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute in New York says. A staggering 97 percent of abortions in Africa — 100 percent in regions across central and …

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A Slovakian in the Economic and Social Council Presidency

Milos Koterec, permanent representative of Slovakia to the United Nations, was elected president of the Economic and Social Council earlier this month in its first organizational meeting this year. Koterec, 39, succeeds Lazarous Kampambwe of Zambia, after serving as the senior vice president of the council last year. The council is the main forum in …

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R2P Monitor, a New Digest, Details Populations in Danger

The Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect has released its first issue of a bimonthly digest, the R2P Monitor, reporting on populations in countries that could be at risk to mass-atrocity crimes. The mission of the center, part of the CUNY’s Ralphe Bunche Institute for International Studies, is to enable the responsibility to protect …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

The Responsibility to Protect Gets a Checkup

When the carnage of the 1990s wound down, with more than a million people dead in massacres and brutal ethnic or political wars in and around Rwanda, the Balkans and elsewhere, nations that had failed to act to stop such tragedies began seeking ways to prevent future catastrophes. From this terrible decade, the long-postponed creation …

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The traditional stews may be hit and miss ventures, but two sandwiches, roast pork

Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine, Post-Revolution

The same armed revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959 drove other Cubans to flee to America, where they opened many excellent restaurants that have been teaching us ever since about the garlicky charms of their homeland’s cooking. One of these, however, was not Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine, which started in 1997 near the …

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Where Will the News Be in 2012?

Even before unforeseen events like natural disasters or outbreaks of new conflicts occur this year, as they always do, 2012 will be full of important political news, with elections not only in the United States but also around the world, some in countries that are crucial to the stability of their regions. The International Peace …

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Getting to Know the Persian Gulf

American officials now rank Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz as dangerous to American interests — or even more so in the short term — than Iran’s nuclear program. Where is this place, and why has it risen to the top of Washington’s concerns? Answers to such questions can be found in a …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
A newly hired radio staff in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, test their skills on producing a program on the virtues of breast milk for an experiment run by a former UN Radio professional. FRED ECKHARD

A Charity to Run, and Keeping Up With UN Folks

  OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — It turns out that in this small, landlocked West African country, the United Nations has a full plate of programs going and that former UN staffers can’t pull themselves away from here, immersed in projects they started themselves. My own investment in the country started with Solidarité Goëlo-Burkina, a nonprofit …

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Shaping a Tentative Peace in Yemen

Multiple conflicts have raged for years in Yemen, one of the poorest and most neglected countries in the Arab world. In the north, the ethnic group Houthis battled the government, while separatists vied for independence in the south. Elements of a regional proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been going on as well, …

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Population Growth Threatens the Poorest

On the heels of the United Nations’ announcement that the global population crossed the 7 billion mark on Oct. 31, a timely report from the organization’s population division has broken down that big number to document where most births are taking place and the stresses they add to life among the world’s poorest people. While …

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