February 2013

Children selling postcards in Petra, Jordan.

Domestic Workers: Long Hours, Backbreaking Jobs and Few Rights

  Two years ago, commemorating International Domestic Workers Day on June 16, governments, labor unions and employers’ associations voted overwhelmingly to create global labor standards to help promote the rights of the 50 to 100 million domestic workers worldwide. The United Nations International Labor Organization, or ILO, adopted such a convention, No. 189, in 2011, …

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Internally displaced people in Congo

Illegal Gold Mining Runs Rampant in Eastern Congo

Gold is now one of the most problematic conflict minerals in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and United Nations Security Council sanctions on the illegal mining of natural resources, including gold, have done little to prevent smugglers from profiting, says a new report from a German foundation. The foundation, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, is a …

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Ireland's representatives at IPU Main Assembly meeting 2012

Giving Parliaments a Bigger Role in Good Governance

Armed with a five-year strategy to strengthen the influence of national legislatures around the world, the Inter-Parliamentary Union is supporting international gatherings of legislators to discuss their role in fostering democracy, good government and effective development policies beyond the 2015 target date of the Millennium Development Goals. The next meeting, with parliamentarians from Asia, Africa …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Judge Song of the ICC

The International Court Judge’s Fight for Justice

  The president of the International Criminal Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, told a Columbia University audience recently that a major challenge facing the court is what he called a steady lack of political support from the United Nations Security Council and UN member states. “We need a far more consistent and vigilant approach by the …

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The Mitrovica Bridge in North Kosovo is an iconic symbol of Kosovo's division. South of the Ibar River live Albanian Kosovars, while the land north of the Ibar is occupied by Serbian communities.

The North Kosovo Obstacle to Peace

Thousands of people packed the streets of Pristina this past weekend, celebrating as Kosovo marked five years of independence. But in the municipalities of northern Kosovo, few people were rejoicing. Thirteen years after Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian leader whose nationalist crusade set off the Balkan wars, withdrew his army from Kosovo, and three years since …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Ambassador Puri of India

India’s UN Ambassador Is Retiring

Hardeep Singh Puri, 60, the Indian ambassador to the United Nations, has announced his retirement, which will take effect at the end of February. Ashoke Mukherji, The Times of India reported, is likely to be Puri’s replacement at the UN. Puri has been ambassador to the UN since 2009. He led the country through its …

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The metro in Cologne, Germany

An American in Europe: The UN, Who Cares?

BRUSSELS — George Gershwin certainly would not have been inspired to write a symphonic tone poem about an American academic on sabbatical attempting to interpret European reactions to the United Nations. Ten years ago, Robert Kagan wrote that “Americans are from Mars and Europeans from Venus.” Perhaps, but not regarding the UN. After years of …

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An Indian student in front of a Hole in the Wall education kiosk.

The Glory of Self-Learning, Discovered by Children in India

Imagine a new world of innovative, inexpensive and successful learning, where dusty streets in rural towns in developing countries are lined with self-powered computer kiosks and children from poor neighborhoods have the same ability to work with new technology as children in richer areas do. That dynamic is the goal of new education policies put …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

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