December 2013

Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Teenage girls in Cameroon

Columbia University Adds New Gender Focus to Its International Affairs School

Gender is at the center of international agendas, not at their periphery. Today, plans in Sochi for the forthcoming Olympics — the emblem of international cooperation — are riven by disputes over Russia’s policies toward lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender persons. Peacemakers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo must address the needs of more than 2.5 million displaced …

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Gay pride parade, Bangalore

Indian Ban on Gay Sex Draws UN Human Rights Rebuke

An unexpected Indian Supreme Court ruling on Dec. 11 upholding a law that criminalizes same-sex relationships drew a swift rebuke within 24 hours from Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who called it a violation of international rights. The Indian court decision came barely a day after international Human Rights Day. …

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Rana Plaza in Dhaka

Could European Social Democracy Happen in Bangladesh?

Over the last year, the terrible working conditions in Bangladesh’s garment factories have made headlines around the world. The Tazreen Factory fire, in which more than a hundred people were killed, was followed quickly by the collapse of another factory at Rana Plaza, a catastrophe that killed more than 1,100 workers. Responses by Western corporations …

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Umbrellas in China

Iowa Teachers Connecting With the World

It is a summer school for teachers, with a big difference. Sixteen of them working in the schools of Muscatine, Iowa, have been awarded grants since 2005 to travel abroad to enhance their global knowledge through the Catherine Miller Explorer Awards, a project of the Iowa-based Stanley Foundation, an internationally recognized global organization that stays …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Nelson Mandela

Mandela’s Reach Knew No Bounds

Late in September 1999, a quiet man whom the Indonesian military had painted as a fearsome terrorist turned up in my office at the United Nations, where he had come to help plan the future of a new country, Timor-Leste. He was José Alexandre Gusmão, better known by his nom de guerre, Xanana. He told …

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Syrian Women’s Groups Push for Equal Role at Geneva II Talks

Recognizing that women in the Middle East and North Africa must play an active role in their countries’ political processes, especially amid the regional backdrop of upheavals and conflicts, the Netherlands government is providing money for a new program, Women on the Frontline, to help women-run initiatives organize themselves better to assert their rights to …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Tony Abbott and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

With an Ally Like This, Who Needs Troublemakers?

LOS ANGELES — A spat between Indonesia and Australia is not receiving proper attention in our media. This is predictable given American parochialism but, even so, it is causing serious heartburn in some Washington quarters — and genuine grief here on our more Pacific-sensitive West Coast. The problem surfaced with recent evidence of significant Australian …

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