September 2012

Special Representative Rhadika Coomaraswamy meeting with Chadian President Idriss Déby

Protecting Children’s Rights in Troubled Landscapes

The Security Council has waded deeper into the tricky waters of protecting the rights of children in armed conflict despite protests of sovereignty from some countries, passing a resolution that clarifies the mandate for the UN special envoy on safeguarding children. The resolution, submitted by Canada and 30 other primarily Western countries, was adopted with …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
President Barack Obama

Obama to Tell UN That Washington Values Engagement

President Barack Obama, criticized in an intense election campaign for not being tough enough with the rest of the world, is expected to tell fellow leaders next week why his administration thinks that cooperative action, not bluster or the flaunting of power, is a better policy for meeting the crises of this century. The busiest …

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Egyptian women protesting sexual harrasment and violence.

For Muslim Women, a Careful Script to Combat Violence

The saddest stories told by vulnerable women in villages or slum shacks across the developing world most often involve violence or subjugation that they must bear because they don’t know how, or don’t have the means, to escape a bad situation. In the poorest countries, women talk of being assaulted or intimidated at home, in …

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Fatherless children in eastern Congo

‘Songs of the Village’

The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been experiencing cyclical wars since 1996, when the so-called war of liberation began. The fighting started in South Kivu Province and spread throughout the whole country, then called Zaire, until Mobutu Sese Seko, the Congolese dictator, was toppled less than a year later. Since then, …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Migrants locked up in a camp in Libya.

The Human Rights Council Gets More Respect

The visibility of human-rights violations by the Syrian government amid the current turmoil owes much to the United Nations, particularly to its Independent International Commission of Inquiry, led by Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, a Brazilian lawyer, public official and professor.  Such commissions are part of a growing number of tools used by the UN to promote …

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Num Pang restaurant NYC

At Last, Sandwiches That Taste Divine

A life-changing stint in Philadelphia during my formative years left me with an irrepressible yearning for a truly great sandwich, coupled with enormous sadness over the difficulty of finding one. The hoagie of yore — a generously filled, crusty Italian roll doused with olive oil, vinegar and Italian spices and lined with shreds of raw …

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Tough Love Time for the UN

Even though Ban Ki-moon just began his second five-year term this year as United Nations secretary-general, names are already surfacing as to his possible replacement when his term is up. Technically, Ban could be appointed a third term, but no secretary-general so far has held three. Most UN academic experts who were surveyed for a …

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