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

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

TAKE A LOOK

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

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

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

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

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