BOOKS

Misogyny Didn’t Stop Them: The World’s Most Important Female Leaders

From Asia and Africa to Europe and the Americas, women remain important forces of change as government leaders in the modern era. Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister after its independence, was one of the earliest — and the only woman in India — to hold that position, from 1966 to … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Being UN Deputy Secretary-General: Louise Fréchette Recounts Her Experience

Louise Fréchette, a Canadian, was the first United Nations deputy secretary-general. Appointed by Kofi Annan, she took office in March 1998, bringing to the job qualifications that exceeded those of most UN secretaries-general. She had spent a quarter-century in the Canadian foreign service, including as ambassador to several Latin American counties and to the UN; … Read more

UN Puts on Big To-Do, Amid Tight Security, for Signing of New Climate Agreement

The United Nations threw a large and lavish party at its headquarters in New York on Earth Day, the opening day of the signing ceremony for the world’s new climate agreement. About 170 heads of state and government representatives came to inscribe their names, in alphabetical order by country, in the General Assembly Hall, in … Read more

Russ Feingold on Congo: First, End the Conflict

Feingold boarding US Government plane

Last year marked major progress toward finding a peaceful resolution for the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s achingly long conflict, rooted in decades of civil war, regional incursions, ethnic tensions and resource pilfering. Throughout the many years, women have borne the brunt of the fighting, caught in the crossfire between rival militias and governments and … Read more

 

The Elders Support a Diplomatic Opening to Iran

Kofi Annan and President Rouhani, Iran

The Elders, a group of distinguished former global leaders led by Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary-general, made an unusual three-day visit to Iran at the end of January to meet with numerous officials, including President Hassan Rouhani of Iran. It was the first trip to Iran by The Elders, who said at the … Read more

GOINGS-ON

The Elders Group Expand Its Membership

Hina Jilani

The Elders, a unique group of former heads of government and other global leaders, founded in 2007 under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, has added a former president of Mexico and an internationally known Pakistani human-rights advocate to its membership. The inclusion of Ernesto Zedillo, president of Mexico from 1994 to 2000, and Hina Jilani, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Congolese Women Grow More Demanding of Local Governments

Collecting firewood at the Kanyaruchinya IDP camp, Congo

A global women’s organization with wide experience in peace-building recently brought together scores of prominent women from six African nations to take well-defined steps for dealing with the root causes of the persistent sexual violence occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Declaring that peace in eastern Congo could bring peace to the entire Great Lakes area of … Read more

Congo Army Rapes Detailed in UN Report as Special Brigade Arrives

UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region visit in Goma

The cycle of sexual violence that has been churning throughout the eastern half of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has refused to stop, despite all the steps the United Nations has taken over decades to end the epidemic. Just last fall, systematic rapes, committed by the Congolese Army, occurred in an area around Minova, … Read more

 

A New UN Brigade Will Make Combat Moves in Congo

Nyanzale refugee camp children

  For the first time, the United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution allowing UN troops to go on the offensive in a mission against armed rebels. The combat intervention brigade will operate as part of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Monusco). The … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Mary Robinson, New UN Special Envoy for Central Africa?

Mary Robinson of The Elders

Mary Robinson, a former president of Ireland, United Nations high commissioner for human rights and philanthropist, is said to be the main candidate for the new United Nations special envoy post for the Great Lakes region in central Africa. The area generally covers Burundi, northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and some parts … Read more

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