August 2012

Justine Masika Bihamba

In Congo, Listening to Rape Victims to Establish Trust

Justine Masika Bihamba’s work is centered in North Kivu Province in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where for about 12 years she has been fighting poverty and sexual violence, promoting peace and human rights and supporting war victims through psychological services, grants and medical care. The province has experienced tremendous conflict in the last …

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Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition leader, leaves Westminster Hall.

Two Faces of Burma Coming to New York

It may have been a coincidence or maybe not. When the 67th United Nations General Assembly session opens in New York in mid-September, the president of Burma, Thein Sein, is expected to speak in what is still called, quaintly, the “general debate.” At almost the same time, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize …

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Brigid Inder, special gender adviser for the ICC

The ICC’s New Gender Adviser Knows the Court Well

  Brigid Inder has been named the special gender adviser to Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, or the ICC. With more than two decades of working in international and domestic justice, women’s human rights and as a political adviser in United Nations negotiations, Inder’s new role is to advise Bensouda’s office …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Control Arms Coalition at the Arms Trade Treaty talks

Arms Trade Treaty Talks Call a Time-Out

Good things take time. Evidently, 10 years of advocacy efforts led by a group of Nobel laureates and an international nongovernmental organization campaign, five years of consultations and preparatory work and a month of negotiations at the United Nations in New York in July wasn’t quite enough time for the 193 members of the United …

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Prague's Vlata River.

The Unesco-US Relationship: It’s Complicated

When it comes to mysteries, the United States’ decision to rejoin Unesco in 2002 under a Republican administration and after nearly two decades’ absence remains puzzling, but it appears the move can be traced to Hollywood. Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has always borne the brunt of criticism from US politicians. Allegations …

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Ruchira Gupta, founder of Apne Aap

Cool Men Don’t Buy Sex

After Ruchira Gupta, an Indian journalist, produced an Emmy Award winning documentary, “The Selling of Innocents,” about trafficking of women and girls from Nepal to India, she and 22 other women, from Mumbai’s red-light district who were featured in the film, founded Apne Aap Women Worldwide in 2002. They wanted to forge a world where …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank

World Bank President Takes Some Questions

Jim Yong Kim, an American doctor who was born in Korea, began his new job as World Bank president in July. In this World Bank video, he answers a sundry of the 1,000 questions his office has received worldwide on the economy, jobs, gender equality and other topics. The World Bank is part of the …

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Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, new head of public information at the UN

Ban Ki-moon’s New Team Earning Positive Reviews

When leaders of the world start descending on the United Nations in September for the opening of a new General Assembly session, there will two new internationally well-known figures in prominent positions at the top of the organization. In July, Jan Eliasson of Sweden became the UN’s deputy secretary-general, and in mid-August, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal of …

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Jesus Martinez, former child soldier in Bogota

A Former Child Soldier Grows Up in Colombia

  BOGOTÁ – Jesús Martínez has money on his mind: his monthly budget of $250, his $75 rent and the $7,500 he will soon receive from the government. Eighteen-year-old Martínez, which is not his real name, never touched a peso until he was 16 and fled the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or the Farc, …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Kofi Annan, joint special envoy for Syria

Kofi Annan Resigns as Special Envoy for Syria

Kofi Annan, the joint special envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League for the Syrian crisis, resigned today, leaving any residual hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict gone for now. The resignation seems to have taken the UN by surprise, though Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the UN, said after …

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Cocoa farmer pruning a tree in Ivory Coast.

The Ethics of Chocolate

Given longstanding reports of slavery, economic exploitation and corruption in the West African cocoa trade, how guilty should you feel about eating a chocolate bar? How about one made with cocoa marketed under the fair-trade umbrella – a loose international system aimed at providing growers with fair prices while also imposing fair labor standards and …

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