March 2014

Xi Jinping of China

Resource Wars: How Afraid Should We Be of China?

The United States and Japanese military held joint war games in California in February, practicing how to invade and take back an island seized by hostile forces. While they didn’t say whose forces they were worried about, the drill was one more sign of growing global fears that China’s People’s Liberation Army may soon grab …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Times Square NYC

Population: Still a Big Taboo

I’ve been preoccupied with the overlap between population and the environment ever since I read the Ecologist’s “A Blueprint for Survival” in the early 1970s. I’ve campaigned assiduously for progressive family planning programs since that time on, just as I have for environmental and social justice issues. It’s always been a no-bloody-brainer that the two …

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Martin Chungong of IPU

An African Elected Head of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

The Inter-Parliamentary Union has elected Martin Chungong of Cameroon as its secretary-general, the first African and the first non-European to lead the organization in its 125-year history. Chungong, a former member of the Cameroonian parliament, has been the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s deputy secretary-general under Anders Johnsson, of Sweden, who officially retires on June 30. Chungong has also been director of programs …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

Russia Supplies the Single Vote Against UN Action on Ukraine

Facing near-unanimous Security Council support over the situation in Ukraine, Russia supplied the single veto needed to nix a resolution that aimed to de-legitimize the scheduled referendum on Crimea’s seceding from the country, to be held March 16, in a vote today in the United Nations Security Council. Russia’s veto on the resolution was expected. …

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Women in Sri Lanka

Women Must Have Control Over Their Own Bodies

Earlier this year France was the latest to join a handful of progressive countries to expand access to reproductive health services — with its National Assembly amending the country’s laws to affirm a woman’s right to an abortion through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and criminalize attempts to obstruct this right. What is refreshing …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
A UN-supported market in Lebanon.

The UN Has Lost the Aid-Effectiveness Race: What Is to Be Done?

Recent events have confirmed that the United Nations has a deep reservoir of good will worldwide. But its reputation is undermined by the ineffectiveness of its development assistance. UN agencies could improve their performance by implementing effective evaluations. However, the UN cannot be judged solely on the basis of its development assistance because the organization …

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Chinese peacekeepers arriving in Bamako, Mali

China Takes a Peacekeeping Risk in Mali

China has dipped a big toe in peacekeeping waters by sending its first-ever infantry troops to work for a United Nations mission — in this case, Mali, where a mission was set up last summer to stabilize the country after a military coup in 2012 and a French military intervention against Islamic extremists in early …

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Nuon Chea

Cambodian Tribunal Confronts New Hurdles

The tangled process of bringing even partial accounting and sentencing to a close in a United Nations-Cambodian joint tribunal judging the leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime that decimated the country’s population in the late 1970s and destroyed all civic and economic life, is on full display again in a purpose-built courtroom near Phnom Penh, …

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