WORLDVIEWS

Myanmar’s Neighbors Must Build Trust Among Rohingya Refugees

At the 33d summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Singapore last year, the issue of Myanmar’s Rakhine/Rohingya crisis was high on the agenda. The chairman’s closing statement expressed the group’s readiness to support Myanmar in repatriating refugees by conducting a needs-assessment overview in Rakhine State. The Muslim Rohingya had fled ethnic persecution … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Big Powers at the UN Are Hanging Western Sahara Out to Dry

A stunning policy reversal by the United States regarding Western Sahara occurred last week, but it didn’t make many headlines. What happened? When the United Nations Security Council adopted a new resolution on Western Sahara, renewing the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission —Minurso — there for another 12 months, the action meant America’s ambitions … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

A Plan From Darfuri Women to Make Sudan’s New Democracy Work

Niemat Ahmadi, the founder and director of the Darfur Women Action Group, has a plan for the new Sudan. The Strategic Framework for Sustainable Change was presented to the country’s prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, during his participation in the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly in September — only three weeks after he … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Why Wait Until Trump Starts Talking to the Paintings?

President Donald Trump

In early 1974, fresh out of journalism school, I walked into the offices of the newly created Federal Energy Office in Washington and asked for a job. Within days I was back — a freshly minted writer-editor in the public affairs office of an agency launched in response to an oil embargo imposed on the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Global Leaders Missed a Crucial Chance to Propel the SDGs, Especially on Good Governance

Governments and other parties involved in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals missed an important opportunity to provide more impetus to the goals’ success at the recent opening session of the General Assembly, held in September. By engaging largely in self-congratulation, with few exceptions, the three-minute speeches by world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Stalling the UN Report on Dag Hammarskjold’s Death Is Regrettable

Fifty-eight years ago, Dag Hammarskjold, the United Nations secretary-general at the time, set off on a perilous journey across the African heartland. Taking off at 4:51 P.M. from Léopoldville, in the capital of the newly independent Congo, he was due to meet the leader of the secessionist Katanga province. The venue chosen was Ndola, a … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

In Projecting the UN Through New Media, Is Quality at Stake?

In 2012, after almost five years as chief of the video unit in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I reached the compulsory UN retirement age of 62 and had to leave. I loved my work, but after four decades working in film and television production on five continents … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

They Call It Multistakeholderism. Where Does That Leave the UN?

Global governance is slipping away from the United Nations. Whether it is in managing the Internet, where the UN’s governing structure offers only an advisory role for governments; or climate change, where the most exciting actions are now corporate-led partnerships outside the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; or the Gates Foundation-sponsored Gavi, The Vaccine … Read more

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

 

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