TAKE A LOOK

Tough Times for Legislators as More Women and Youth Still Fall Short

Marking the first International Day of Parliamentarians on June 28, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, representing legislators in 173 countries, reported that serious challenges are emerging as antidemocratic forces playing on public apathy increase. In a survey of legislatures worldwide in 2018, “Are Parliamentary Democracies in Danger?” the global parliamentary union finds huge challenges to these institutions. … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Trump’s Nominee Lost the UN Migration Agency Vote. Is It a Signal?

The unexpected, decisive rejection of the Trump administration’s candidate to head the premier United Nations agency for resettling refugees and other migrants appears to be a warning. Which is that other nations are not prepared to indefinitely defer to the power of the United States when human rights and democratic values are assaulted by the … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

As Expected, the US Quits the UN Human Rights Council

In a long-expected decision, the United States announced it was withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, the world body’s primary organ for promoting and protecting the rights of people worldwide. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, delivered comments on June 19 in the late … Read more

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As Refugees Await Their Futures, NGOs Offer New Ways to Help Them Prepare

As the school year ends in many countries and children turn with joy to vacation time ahead, millions of other school-age children will have nothing to look forward to but more long days in overcrowded refugee camps. The situation gets worse as they grow into adulthood. Recent studies show that, thanks to United Nations development … Read more

With Trump’s Human-Rights Policies, Religious ‘Values’ Take Priority

Cubans waiting to be served food during the country's annual celebration of its revolution.

For almost three centuries, through street protests, court battles and a civil war, the United States has sporadically but steadily advanced and expanded human-rights protections and commitments in domestic and foreign policies. Now Donald Trump and the most conservative, ideologically driven officials on his team want to turn back this record in fundamental ways, as … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

In Year 2 of Trump Presidency, the US Is Still Eroding Both the UN and Women’s Rights

After a year of bombast and threats by Ambassador Nikki Haley and the ever-evolving Donald Trump administration, the tone appears to be turned down a few notches in the second year of the Trump presidency. But efforts to undermine the United Nations and what it stands for have not stopped, at least for now, even … Read more

In Nunavut, Poor Health Care Shortens Indigenous People’s Lives

Canada’s national health system, the envy of many people in other countries, including in the United States, is being more scrutinized from Canadians as reports reveal serious health-service gaps in the territory of Nunavut, a self-governing province populated by mostly Inuit people. Critical reports of deprivation and neglect emerging from Nunavut paint a picture of … Read more

BOOKS

In Europe and the US, Will Young People Prolong Populism’s Appeal?

In one of several recent books looking for the meaning of populism’s surge in the 21st century, not only in the United States and Europe but also well beyond Western borders, the author Yascha Mounk, a German-born scholar at Harvard, offers the startling assumption that populism as a solution to political and economic problems is attracting … Read more

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Europe’s Contraception Gaps: They May Be Wider Than You Think

It is a continent where almost half of the pregnancies are unplanned, where government agencies do not provide enough information on available contraception, where geography is destiny for those needing reliable family planning advice. This is not a developing region, but 21st-century Europe, according to the recently published 2018 Contraception Atlas. The atlas, presented in … Read more

South Africa’s Light on Human Rights Dims Again at the UN

When the monthlong winter session of the United Nations Human Rights Council opened at the end of February, expectations were high that progress would be made on reforms demanded by the United States and supported by many other nations, although not in as threatening terms as those of Nikki Haley, the Trump administration’s ambassador to … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Data Miners See Poverty Gradations; and More Cases of Harassment at the UN

International organizations, governments and a vast army of nongovernmental organizations justifiably welcome the sharp reductions that have been achieved in global poverty in recent decades. Data researchers show, however, that when it comes to defining who are the poorest, poverty is not a monolithic state. Two analysts from the online site Our World in Data, … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Reform Eludes the Human Rights Council as Bolton Returns to the Scene

The 2018 winter session of the United Nations Human Rights Council was marked more by what didn’t happen than what did. There was still no official announcement in Geneva from the Trump administration about whether the United States would leave the Council or even seek re-election in 2019, when its current term expires. There was also … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

US Congress Strikes Back at Trump’s Goals to Curtail Family Planning

In a rare act of legislative sabotage, the Trump administration’s plan to starve international family planning of funds has been killed for now as committees in both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate slipped hundreds of millions of dollars to support reproductive health programs into a 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion US budget package … Read more

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The UN Secretary-General Pushes Ahead on Peacekeeping Reform

Responding to a December request from the General Assembly for details on how he proposes to staff and pay for sweeping changes in political affairs and peacekeeping at the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres has drafted a 50-page explanation for member states to consider. The General Assembly had agreed in principle to his original 16-page … Read more

A Hindu-Muslim Friendship That Helped Shape How the World Measured Poverty

They were two young men studying at Cambridge University when they met in the wake of the bloody Partition of British India. One was a Kashmiri-born Muslim and the other a Hindu-born Bengali. But the two, Mahbub ul Haq of Pakistan and Amartya Sen from India, soon formed an intellectual bond and deep friendship. “It … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Lessons From African Kings, Real and Imagined

As ticket sales for the film “Black Panther” rocketed into the stratosphere in the United States and around the world after its opening in February, a real king in the poor West African nation of Burkina Faso won a peace prize for his part in averting bloodshed in a political crisis. On Feb.23, Mogho Naba … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Trump Team Wants to Slash Funds for Global Women’s Health by Half

There has yet to be a decision in United States Congress on what funds for global women’s health, if any, will survive in the current 2018 national budget, a decision that is nearly six months overdue. But Donald Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, a hard-line social conservative who is playing a larger role … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

The ‘Incredible Courage’ of Asma Jahangir, Pakistan’s Human-Rights Advocate

Only a few days before Pakistan’s most famous human-rights advocate, Asma Jahangir, was felled by a heart attack on Feb. 11, she was speaking out in support of a group of ethnic Pashtuns who had marched across the country from their homes along the Afghanistan border to protest military brutality. A Pashtun boy had been … Read more

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A Trove of Resources for Navigating Our Angry World

In the dark shadows of rising populism and hypernationalistic leaders, attempts to intimidate reporters and curb the exchange of information are taking on less visibly crude but still dangerous forms. The menace, highlighted in the United States by Donald Trump’s contemptuous accusations against the press, television and social media, has global echoes. There is no … Read more

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