February 2012

ICC first verdict

Verdict on Congolese Rebel About to Be Made

The International Criminal Court is ready to announce its first-ever verdict, in the trial of Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese warlord accused of committing war crimes for recruiting child soldiers under age 15. The verdict will be read on March 14 at the court’s headquarters in The Hague, where the judicial body began operating in 2004. …

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afghan refugees

Refugees Settling in the US Reaches 3 Million Mark

Since 1975, three million refugees have settled in the United States, the world’s largest recipient of distressed or endangered people seeking permanent new homes. The US is also the largest financial contributor to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, say new figures from the State Department and the UN refugee agency. Canada and the US …

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IAEA and FAO

At the UN Nuclear Watchdog, It’s Not Just About Iran

United Nations international atomic inspectors confirmed that Iran is moving apace on producing nuclear fuel at an underground site, but that is not what Kwaku Aning, an official from the International Atomic Energy Agency, wanted to talk about on a visit to New York. Nor did his colleague, Geoffrey Shaw, an Australian who represents the …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
UN and guinea-bissau

Proposed US Foreign Aid Shows Slight Increase

In his recently released 2013 budget proposal, President Obama has increased funds for foreign aid to the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development, but the 1.2 percent rise over 2012 figures is still less than 1 percent of the entire federal budget. The total amount proposed for foreign aid is $51.6 …

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Polish ghetto

Worked to Death in Lodz

  In the Lodz ghetto in the center of German-occupied Poland, residents were not allowed to own cameras, but at least two professional photographers there, commissioned by the local Department of Statistics for the Jewish Council, documented the area’s slide, from 1940 to 1944, into near obliteration. The images by Mendel Grossman and Henryk Ross …

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Security Council Visits the Fort National UN Base in Haiti

A Sobering Security Council Trip to Haiti

One of the most interesting developments in the Security Council’s work in the past decades is the increasing frequency and immediacy of “road trips” ambassadors are taking to the most problematic places on their agenda. Recent delegations have gone on missions to Afghanistan and numerous African nations, among other places. A year-old Russian proposal for …

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FAO chief

Graziano da Silva, New in Post, to Focus on Hunger and Rural Poor

José Graziano da Silva took up his three-year post as the new director-general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, based in Rome, in January. The agency, which was founded in 1945, is tasked with eradicating hunger worldwide, particularly in rural areas. Graziano da Silva was the agency’s assistant director-general and regional representative for …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
ICC fact-finding mission

New Judges and a Presidential Vote at The Hague

The International Criminal Court will swear in six new judges on March 9 and elect, by absolute majority, a new president of the court and two new vice presidents. The court’s 18 judges will vote in the election, with several most likely to run for the three-year presidency themselves, though the incumbent, Judge Sang-Hyun Song …

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Syrian resolution

General Assembly Condemns Syria in a Strong Vote

The General Assembly overwhelmingly supported a resolution condemning the relentless “widespread and systematic” human-rights violations committed by Syrian officials and demanded that the government stop all violence and protect its people. The resolution, though not enforceable, also called on Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, to cede office to a vice president and begin negotiations to form …

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Naya Express NYC

Finding the Best in the Falafel Triangle

The UN community, with its incomparable mix of people from around the globe, has a soft spot for falafel as well as for world peace. In the triangle stretching between the main UN gate on First Avenue and East 42nd Street to East 48th Street along Third Avenue, excellent spots abound for buying a tasty …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
older people issues

Time for a Gray Revolution?

The United Nations is the place to go for people who are oppressed or neglected to discuss their problems and try to find solutions. One of the most recent special-interest groups to meet at the UN highlighted the plight of older people, who, of course, have grievances and want to be heard. “No longer is …

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Fighting the Use of Child Soldiers With a List

The “naming and shaming” tool has been the most successful mechanism so far in the United Nations’ arsenal on ending the practice of child soldiers in the last 10 years, said Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN secretary-general’s special envoy for children and armed conflict since 2006. Yet pockets of child soldier use still elude efforts by …

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Tensions in Senegal Raise the Heat in the Region

DAKAR, Senegal — Senegal has always been praised as the most secure country in West Africa since its independence in 1960 from France. Its capital, Dakar, perched on the western edge of the Atlantic coastline, is a city of very rich and very poor, mosques and outdoor athletic fields, hawkers and cultural aficionados. A highway …

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