TOPIC: WOMEN

US Visa Rules Can Create Heartbreak for Women

Imagine an accomplished young woman — we can call her Amrita — who has a caring husband and maybe a child or two. He is a highly skilled professional in his field with a doctorate or even postdoctorate qualifications. She has the same level of achievement or possibly higher. He has been offered a good … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

In Africa, Where the Pain of Trump’s ‘Racist’ Comments Runs Deep

In the United States, the reaction to the bigoted comments that President Donald Trump made on Jan. 11 about black-majority nations in Africa didn’t take long to shift its focus to domestic American politics, obscuring the shock of those abroad who have been maligned. Around the world, a very different story is taking shape. Country … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Zimbabwe Stuck With a Health Crisis Left by Mugabe Era

Robert Mugabe, the only head of state that Zimbabwe had known since independence in 1980, was forced out of office by an unexpected coup in November 2017, and citizens of the economically battered country are now forced to tally the costs of his dictatorship. One of them is a health system in collapse. A report … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Tackling Sexual Violence in Humanitarian NGOs

Nearly three years ago, Megan Nobert, a humanitarian worker in South Sudan, was drugged and raped by an employee of a United Nations agency, according to her account, made public six months later. That was when Nobert decided to form the advocacy group Report the Abuse to encourage others to tell their stories and rally … Read more

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GEOPOLITICS

David Miliband on Our Duty to the Strangers in Our Midst: Refugees

David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, has been president and chief executive of the International Rescue Committee since 2013, overseeing both the agency’s humanitarian relief operations and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs in several American cities. The son of European refugees from Nazi Germany, he just published his first book, “Rescue: Refugees and the … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Is the US Going to Drop Out of the UN Human Rights Council?

Palestinian causes in the United Nations are gaining wider and more active support in the Arab and Islamic worlds in light of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in defiance of global opinion and decades of UN resolutions. The move sets the scene for reigniting intense anti-UN activity in United States Congress. There … Read more

TOPIC: INDIA

Girl, Disrupted: How a Boarding School Shifted the Life of One Young Woman

Shilpa Raj is not a Bollywood name, though she has starred in a documentary. She is not a best-selling author — yet. But she has written a frank, soulful book that can contribute to important discussions about the human costs of a disrupted childhood, however well-intentioned, based on her own extraordinary story. At the age … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

What a Stripped-Down State Department Bodes for the UN and Nikki Haley

In Washington, there is no question that the State Department is in a weakened position, a situation that the Trump White House — and the Trump family — seem to relish. To some in the understaffed, stripped-down Foreign Service and to commentators on United States foreign policy, this is a disgrace linked directly to Secretary … Read more

BOOKS

In a World of Evolving UN Sanctions, an Emphasis on the Humanitarian Effects

Debates over how to deal with issues like North Korea’s nuclear weapons or the reliability of Iran to adhere to its role in a multiparty nuclear deal have brought questions about the value, design and human effects of sanctions to the fore at the United Nations and in national capitals. Are sanctions a tool of … Read more

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TAKE A LOOK

Americans Want an Active Role in the World, Contrary to Trump’s Actions, a Poll Finds

  In the first week of November, more than 200 Americans who had been the beneficiaries of Fulbright international exchanges over many years went to the United States Congress to lobby members from across the country. They were asking their state representatives and senators not to strip the iconic, but now endangered, program of full … Read more

A Novel Idea: Putting Refugee Health Care Experts to Work

With a record 65.6 million people displaced from their homes around the world — 22.5 million of them classified as refugees who have fled across borders — alarms are sounding about the health risks in overcrowded refugee settlements. Sanitation is soon overwhelmed, hygienic conditions rapidly deteriorate and malnutrition rises, contributing to the spread of contagious … Read more

TOPIC: INDIA

TB in India: Drug-Resistant Strains Are ‘Out of Control,’ New Report Says

Stephen Lewis is an outspoken and often impassioned Canadian diplomat and former United Nations official with a lot of experience in tracking health crises in Africa. Now he has turned his attention to tuberculosis in India, where he made a fact-finding trip in early October. He was shocked and disheartened by what he saw and … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Where the Hungriest People in the World Live

The 2017 Global Hunger Index produced many sadly predictable findings but also worrying surprises. The report’s subtitle, “The Inequalities of Hunger,” suggests a reason. Naomi Hossain, the guest author of the report, looks at the power structures that can dictate every step of a food chain. “In food systems, power is exercised in a variety … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

A Guide to Trump’s Global Edicts on Women’s Reproductive Health

The Trump administration, which announced early this year that it would curtail American-funded women’s health services around the world that may be involved in any way in abortion, has turned its attention to curbing family planning in the United States. Rules have been issued with immediate effect that American women can no longer obtain contraceptives … Read more

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GEOPOLITICS

Janet Benshoof, Legal Activist, Seeks Help for Burma Through the Global Court

Photo of Janet Benshoof, a lawyer-activist, leads the Global Justice Center in New York.

Burma has long been a unique country not only for its otherworldly landscape of pagodas and gold-topped stupas but also, paradoxically, as an isolated country where a nationalistic military has given itself extraordinary constitutional powers. Generals, who have warped the country’s Buddhist heritage over half a century, can now attack the Muslim-majority Rohingya people with … Read more

Political Will: The Missing Link to Ending Sex Abuse in UN Peacekeeping

It is not surprising that António Guterres, the first United Nations secretary-general to be rooted in a life of politics and the first to have been a head of government, would look for a political strategy to address one of the UN’s most self-inflicted wounds: persistent sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping missions. When he … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

US Ambassador’s Ultimatum to the UN: Agree With Us or We Go It Alone

When Nikki Haley, now the United States ambassador to the United Nations, was questioned by senators at her confirmation hearing in January about how she would deal with Donald Trump’s dismissive view of internationalism, she said confidently, “I will show him that the UN matters.” She also said that she would show the world that … Read more

UNGA72

Stopping Sex Abuse in UN Peacekeeping: Guterres’s Direct Call for Political Support

The United Nations’ top coordinator of a drive to end sexual exploitation and abuse in and around peacekeeping missions says the organization cannot succeed without more political support from member nations and cooperation from independent, civilian humanitarian and development agencies working with the UN. Jane Holl Lute, the special coordinator with the rank of under … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

With US Funds Gone, UN Population Fund Faces Brutal Choices in Helping Women

It will soon be two years since the United Nations adopted a new 15-year development policy encapsulated in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This sprawling, ambitious agenda was designed partly to address the shortcomings of the Millennium Goals, the most disheartening of which for women was the failure to meet promises of improved maternal health … Read more

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TOPIC: WOMEN

UN Chief Asks All Nations to Sign New Pact Protecting Women

Haunted by accumulating reports of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls by United Nations peacekeepers and others attached to UN missions around the world, Secretary-General António Guterres is taking the bold, unprecedented step of asking all governments to sign a compact pledging to prevent and stop these violations. The compact is voluntary and … Read more

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