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

Double your impact. Support nonprofit journalism.

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

Double your impact. Support nonprofit journalism.
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

WORLDVIEWS

Unprepared and Unprotected: UN Peacekeepers’ Lives Must Be Saved

The 15 deaths and 43 injuries to United Nations troop personnel in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in December would not, sadly, have surprised those of us who have served in peace enforcement missions with the UN. These are difficult and dangerous places, where rebels have many advantages of … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

China’s Notions of UN Reform: Filling the Growing Vacuum Left by the US

China has presented its position on United Nations reform, and it aligns with Secretary-General António Guterres’s own agenda. It pushes for practicalities, such as a transparent process, a stronger peace and security pillar, streamlined internal management and more geographic diversity in hiring practices in peacekeeping and the UN Secretariat. “The world is undergoing major developments, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Least-Developed Countries, a Status That Many Nations Can’t Leave Behind

Since 1971, the United Nations has recognized least-developed countries as those deemed highly disadvantaged in their development strides because of structural, historical and geographical reasons. The aim has been, and still is, to support these countries to graduate to higher levels of self-sufficiency and economic independence, not in the sense for a privileged minority but … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Words Ring Hollow From the UN After Attacks on Peacekeepers

The horrific attack on United Nations peacekeepers from Tanzania in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in early December and the ensuing hours-long battle was a severe blow to one of the UN’s more prized forces, leaving 15 soldiers dead. But the UN was already so concerned with a rise in peacekeeper fatalities — almost … Read more

Double your impact. Support nonprofit journalism.
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

TOPIC: WOMEN

From the Kingdom of Women, With Love

LIOUSHUI, China — Known as the Kingdom of Women, the Mosuo are a small ethnic minority group living in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, predominantly around Lugu Lake. The Mosuo have become somewhat famous for their matriarchal society, where the family name and other legalities are passed to the next generation through the women, and the … 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

TOPIC: WOMEN

Afghan Women Write New Narratives About Themselves, With Courage

Throughout the world, Afghan women are often portrayed as victims by the media and other institutions, needing foreign rescue or summoning deep pity for their oppression. Women’s literacy rate is less than half that of men’s in the country, and it remains one of the worst places in the world for a girl to obtain … Read more

Double your impact. Support nonprofit journalism.
Left Menu Icon

Sign up to get the smartest news on the UN by email, joining readers across the globe.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

Don’t Miss a Story:

Subscribe to PassBlue