Kashmir May Be an Old Crisis at the UN, but the World Is Now Riveted

A familiar refrain often heard when the burgeoning crisis in Kashmir rises to the top of the news is that this is an old story from long ago; we have moved on. The United Nations is discovering, however, that there is less tolerance for indifference since India’s decrees on Aug. 5-6 to singlehandedly remake the … Read more

Kashmiri Muslims in Danger as Hindu Politicians Cancel Their Rights

It has always been relatively easy for Indian governments from both the political left and right to keep Kashmir from the eyes of the world. At no time has this been more obvious than now. Landlocked, under the guns of half a million Indian troops and paramilitaries, cut off sporadically from all modern communications and … Read more

Pompeo Retreats on Universal Human Rights as US Looks More Inward

Secretary of State Pompeo

In an audacious move that could be the capstone of the Trump administration’s campaign to reverse decades of American support for human rights globally, the State Department is creating a separate new commission to advise Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on redefining United States policies, aligned with “natural law and natural rights.” For many human-rights … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Wazhma Frogh Wants Women in the Afghan Peace Talks Now

Wazhma Frogh is a lifetime campaigner for Afghan women and girls. She co-founded the Women and Peace Studies Organization in Afghanistan in 2011 and is a member of the Afghan Women’s Network. In 2009, the United States State Department granted her the International Women of Courage Award. Frogh recently spoke with PassBlue through a Facebook … Read more

 

A New OPCW Team Is Ready to Find the Culprits Behind Chemical Attacks in Syria

THE HAGUE — The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is inching closer in trying to determine who instigated the various chemical attacks in Syria last year. In April 2018, gas cylinders filled with chlorine were dropped from a helicopter in the residential areas of Douma, outside the capital of Damascus. At least 70 … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

The UN Security Council’s New President: An Indonesian Economist and ‘Peace Broker’

Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most populous country, just held what its top United Nations ambassador, Dian Triansyah Djani, calls the “world’s largest election ever held” for a presidency in such a short period of time. While ballots are still being counted and the next government prepares to take shape in May, Indonesia’s work at the UN … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Indians Ask Why 21 Million Women Are Not on Voter Rolls

Every national election in India is numerically mind-boggling, and this year is no exception. More than 800 million registered voters are expected to participate in an election spanning 39 days from April 11 to May 19. In this huge exercise in democracy, simultaneously organized at national and state levels, the government’s election commission has identified … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Afghan Migrants Flee Iran as US Sanctions Damage Iran’s Economy

Kabul Afghanistan bazaar

After fleeing violence and unemployment in their home country for the relative stability of neighboring Iran, hundreds of thousands of undocumented Afghans are now returning home. The mass reverse migration is taking place just as the United States, eager to withdraw from Afghanistan, holds its most concerted peace talks with the Taliban in years. The … Read more

 

Where Is the Worst Place for a Child to Be Born?

By one measure — the chances of surviving to young adulthood — sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have the highest rates of child deaths at every stage of childhood. By contrast, the best place to be born this year was Australia or New Zealand, where only two of every 1,000 babies die in their first … Read more

Climate Talks Bypass the Poorest, Who Endure Polluted Homes

Today and every day around the world, in bleak rural villages and the poorest urban neighborhoods, millions of people are igniting small fires to cook their meager meals, brighten dark homes or scare away intruders at night. The number of people using small fires is not small. Climate scientists estimate that three billion people in … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

With US Leadership Gone, Japan and Europe Can Seize the Day

We live in an age of uncertainty caused by the shifting structure and dynamics of international politics, economics and social change. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in his address to the General Assembly in September that this uncertainty was “a bad case of trust deficit disorder” at three levels. First, within countries, he said, … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

In Cambodia’s Single-Party Politics, Women Are Barely Seen

Chan Kanha, a member of the Cambodian People’s Party

KAMPOT, Cambodia — Chan Kanha is the deputy mayor for the Cambodian People’s Party in this small port town, which sits along Cambodia’s southern coast and still retains much of its French colonial architecture. The Cambodian People’s Party, or CCP, is led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has run the country for the last … Read more

 

GEOPOLITICS

Kashmir’s Long Tragedy Rears Its Head in the News and at the UN

In his final months in office as United Nations high commissioner for human rights, the outspoken Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein did what no former holder of that office would or could do: he issued a blistering report on Indian abuses in the disputed territory of Kashmir. It is a story that Indian governments have long tried … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Rohingya Refugees Look to Washington and Find a Vacuum

This August marks a year since a military crackdown forced at least 700,000 Rohingya to flee Myanmar for Bangladesh, joining hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who had already taken refuge there, totaling 1.1 million people encamped in Cox’s Bazar, according to a Bangladesh count done this July. But you would never know from the Trump … Read more

UN to Rohingya: You Can’t Go Home Safely Any Time Soon

Among refugee advocates there  has been a growing concern that recent agreements among regional governments and the United Nations on a framework for mitigating the Rohingya crisis could prompt at least some of the million-plus people who have fled the deadly military pogrom in Myanmar to consider risking a return to try to rebuild their … Read more

Lost in the War on Malaria, a Chance to Create Local Jobs

It is playoff season for the NBA, and each time the basketball star Stephen Curry hits a three-point shot, he donates three mosquito nets to Nothing But Nets, a United Nations Foundation campaign that fights malaria one bed at a time. Last season, Curry sank 402 three-pointers and helped deliver 1,206 nets. With the Golden … Read more

 

Thank You, UN, for Protecting Victims of Slavery and Other Cruel Practices

While slavery and inhumane practices have still not been eradicated, the United Nations has done much to expose them and to help stamp them out. Its efforts continue. Early after its establishment, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights carried out a study on slavery. Its findings were riveting, and it made several policy recommendations to … 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

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

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

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