WORLDVIEWS

Dear UN Security Council: Remember to Protect the Children

Every time the budget committee of the United Nations meets, as it did in June, child-protection advocates enter a familiar existential crisis: will the United States and China cut UN budgets specifically allocated to specialists on child protection in peacekeeping missions? I am often asked by people in the UN why a child-rights advocate like … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

An Ode to Joy: The UN Expert on LGBTIQ Rights Stands

I woke to a flurry of messages from LGBTIQ activists across the world, coordinating activities. It was July 12 and the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva was about to vote on renewing the mandate of the independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity — the SOGI expert, as it is called in … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Future of UN Peacekeeping Will Resemble What It Is Now

The United Nations was not even three years old when it launched its first peacekeeping mission in 1948. For the last 70 years, it has been continuously involved in such operations, often with mixed results. Over that time, peacekeeping and the wars to which it has been applied have changed. The challenges peacekeepers face have … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Women’s Rights Defenders Are Tired of Being Told to ‘Push Back’ Against the Opposition

As a human-rights defender and women’s rights campaigner, I continue to be struck not by the many challenges now facing women’s rights organizations but by the constant calls for women to “push back against the pushback.” This call for women to push back against the many forces oppressing women’s rights organizations was repeated in a … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

It’s Coming Soon: Can the UN Rethink Its Future in One Year?

A year from now, on June 26, 2020, the international community will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter. That doesn’t leave much time to hammer out a “concise, substantive, forward-looking and unifying declaration” that captures member states’ commitment to multilateralism and to the UN before the world leaders summit … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

In the Central African Republic, War’s Most Forgotten Victims

I can’t stop thinking about Marie. She was 30 years old when I met her in 2015. Two years earlier, six fighters armed with rifles and machetes burst into her home in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui. Two of the fighters held her husband at gunpoint while the others pushed her to the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Widows Lose Much More Than a Spouse: They Lose Their Dignity

For many women around the world, the death of a spouse is magnified by many losses — of their social status, marital home, land, property, social security, dignity and, sometimes, their children. But men, on the other hand, lose none of their human rights while usually gaining support in starting a new chapter in his … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Justice for Darfur Is Critical for a Peaceful Future in Sudan 

Women from North Darfur performing a traditional dance

The people of Sudan finally ousted President Omar al-Bashir from power, on April 11, 2019. The people of Sudan must now transfer al-Bashir to The Hague to stand trial in the International Criminal Court, which, more than 10 years ago, indicted him for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur — including the … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

The Gains of LGBTQ Rights in Some Mideast-North African Nations May Be a Game-Changer

Progress in recognizing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people at the United Nations in New York and in Geneva may seem detached from the realities faced by LGBTQ people in the Middle East and North Africa, or Mena, region. Activists there, however, are navigating the UN human-rights system as part … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Happy 100th Birthday, Sir Brian Urquhart, Heart of the UN

Sir Brian Urquhart has celebrated his 100th birthday this year. This is an eventful moment. Sir Brian is one of the most notable figures in the history of the United Nations. Urquhart has spent most of his entire life in service to the UN and, in his tenure, embodied the very narrative of the institution … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Climate Change and Risk of Conflict: The Links Grow Clearer

There is growing evidence that climate change can increase the risks of conflict and violence. When government authorities are unable or unwilling to mitigate and adapt to climate shocks such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts, these extreme weather events are more likely to be followed by surges in crime, including homicide, robbery and sexual violence. … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Men Can Experience Sexual Violence in War Too

The United Nations Security Council recognized that men and boys are targets of sexual violence both in wartime and in post-conflict settings. Resolution 2467, approved on April 23, calls upon UN member countries to strengthen policies to provide help for victims. As a human-rights lawyer, during the last nine months, I have been documenting cases of conflict-related sexual … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

Why We Canceled an Event in the US Featuring West African Journalists

A resident returned to his home in the Mopti region of Mali after attacks in February 2019

Over the past eight months, we at the Mali-based independent news website Sahelien.com have been working on a documentary film called “The Forgotten Ones,” about the urgent security crisis in Mali’s Mopti region, where civilians, soldiers and United Nations peacekeepers are being increasingly killed. As part of our efforts to engage more directly with audiences … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Will the US Stand With Victims of Rape in War?

The annual debate on sexual violence in conflict is about to take place in the United Nations Security Council. As the UN special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, Pramila Patten, has said, this event — on Tuesday, April 23 — presents a critical opportunity to assess progress in the last 10 years, since the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Where Will Trump’s Love for Israel Take Us?

President Trump with Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, May 2017.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s not really “America First.” It’s “Donald Trump First.” Life would no doubt be safer for the rest of us if his administration based its foreign policy on something larger than one person’s personal fortune(s). But Trump policies have never been famous for their altruism and typically … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Saving the Space for Humanitarian Action in Counterterrorism Strategies

In Aleppo, another victim in the Syrian war

The United Nations Security Council just passed yet another resolution on counterterrorism, this one enunciating the steps that UN member states must take to further constrain terrorist groups’ access to financial and economic resources. Resolution 2462 follows a series of resolutions, dating from 1999, on terrorist threats to international peace and security. This resolution, drafted … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

Nagasaki, My Grandfather and Me

NAGASAKI, Japan — The live fish of the day, taken from a tank that occupied half the restaurant’s floor space, was squid. Its translucent flesh, cut into neat strips draped carefully over its body, twitched gently as the man explored it with his chopsticks. “When you’re done, we’ll cook the rest of it,” the waitress … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Is It Only Mothers, Not All Women, Who Need Social Safety Nets?

Social policy in developing countries provides crucial assistance to women, but evidence shows that it is increasingly being limited to women who are mothers. India is a vivid case in point. Associating women with children and families is hardly new in society. What is surprising, however, is how much recent social policy has embraced and reinforced … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Trump’s Not-So Secret Ill Will Toward the UN

More than six months ago, the American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, announced that she was leaving her post. Following her decision, President Trump nominated Heather Nauert to be her successor. Then the administration tarried, never submitted Nauert’s name for Senate approval — and in February abruptly withdrew her nomination. It put forward … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

US Abortion Restrictions Violate Women’s Human Rights

Every year, 25 million women across the world are forced to obtain unsafe abortions. The United States, through its foreign policy, is deeply complicit in the violation of these women’s right to life and equality under international law. International human-rights frameworks guard against these violations and hold the US and other countries accountable. The International Covenant … Read more

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