TOPIC: WOMEN

As Sweden and Canada Push a ‘Feminist Foreign Policy,’ Others Resist the Label

After years of civil war, Somalia is beginning to build democratic institutions with support from the West, even as horrific violence repeatedly strikes the capital, Mogadishu. Help from foreign countries and regional groups — such as the European Union, Italy and the United States — was provided in Somalia’s 2016 election, where electoral processes and … 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

GEOPOLITICS

Judging the UN in Haiti: ‘We Let the Haitians Down’

The population it serves can misunderstand a United Nations peacekeeping mandate. In the host country, with people’s lives, infrastructure and administrative systems often rendered dysfunctional by conflict, the population expects peacekeepers to restore order, build roads and other essentials, provide work, render justice and make life like it was before if not better. They don’t … Read more

Freed From Extreme Poverty, but Left Out of the Middle Class

When the final assessment of what the Millennium Development Goals achieved was released on July 6, the United Nations said confidently that more than 1 billion people had been lifted from poverty since 1990, the baseline year for setting the goals, which were then monitored from 2000 to 2015. But where did these poor people … Read more

Health Services Still Lag in Haiti, Shadowed by Cholera

More than five years have passed since the heart of Haiti was crushed by a cataclysmic earthquake that killed at least 230,000 people, only to be followed by an outbreak of cholera later that year that has left about another 9,000 dead. Billions of dollars in international aid have begun to show gains in infrastructure … Read more

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Caribbean Nations Preserve a Complicated Heritage

DORADO, Puerto Rico — When Europeans first invaded the Caribbean beginning in the late-15th century — more by chance than by design — devastation soon followed. Local populations were decimated by diseases from another world, and native people’s doomed attempts to repel the fearsome strangers met with only more death. Within two centuries, the slave trade … Read more

Colombia Takes a First Step to Participate in UN Peacekeeping Operations

As Colombia’s long civil war appears to be headed toward a hard-sought peaceful settlement, the government may be ready to send soldiers from its huge, well-financed military to participate in peacekeeping missions of the United Nations. Colombian forces’ work in fighting terrorism was presented as a selling point by its defense ministry, but the military’s human-rights … Read more

UN Peacekeepers Who Turned Predatory in Haiti

  On Jan. 23, the members of the United Nations Security Council will head to Haiti. It’s safe to assume that they will focus on the political crisis: because parliamentary elections were not held by Haiti’s legislative deadline, the current government, headed by President Michel Martelly, is now ruling by decree. It’s also safe to … Read more

10 Snapshots of Smarter Peacekeeping

It may seem that major current triumphs are hard to find when it comes to the work of United Nations Peacekeeping Department and its blue-helmeted military, police and civilian units, which have hit a record high number of 130,000 personnel worldwide. Led by Hervé Ladsous, a Frenchman, the department faces daunting challenges as it aims … Read more

Calling the UN to Account to Stop the HIV/AIDS Scourge

Stephen Lewis of AIDS-Free World

It has been 33 years since the first reports of HIV/AIDS surfaced, and the pandemic, which has never been found to be racial, ethnic or gender specific among the population, is now affecting women the most. They account for more than half of the people living with HIV/AIDS — approximately 16.1 million women out of … Read more

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UN Decolonizers Strive Again for Puerto Rican Independence

Old San Juan, PR

DORADO, Puerto Rico — Year after year, decade after decade, the United Nations General Assembly’s special committee on decolonization has taken up the issue of Puerto Rico’s status as a dependent commonwealth of the United States. Puerto Rico is self-governing but without the full representation in Washington enjoyed by the 50 American states or the … Read more

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