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Articles by: Rene Wadlow

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Nobel Peace Prize Highlights Need to Prevent  Rape as a Weapon of War

Dr Denis Mukwege has created a clinic near Bukavu in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo.  The eastern area of Congo is the scene of fighting at least since 1998 – in part as a result of the genocide in neighboring Rwanda in 1994.  In mid-1994, more than one million Rwandan Hutu refugees poured into the two Kivu provinces.  Many[Read More…]

Afghanistan and Russia: Still Searching for Appropriate Structures of Governance

Afghanistan and Russia: Still Searching for Appropriate Structures of Governance

On Friday, 9 November 2018, at the invitation of the Russian Government and under the chairmanship of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov began what has been called “The Moscow Format” to end the armed conflicts and to find appropriate structures of governance in Afghanistan. Present for the first time were representatives of the Afghanistan High Peace Council – a[Read More…]

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The United Nations: Challenges and Leadership

The United Nations: Challenges and Leadership

To dream of vast horizons of the Soul Through dreams made whole, Unfettered free – help me! Help me make our world anew. Langston Hughes The United Nations remains the only universally representative and comprehensively empowered body the world has to deal with challenges to the security and welfare of the world society. However, the awareness of these challenges grows[Read More…]

Pakistan Blasphemy Death Sentence Overturned: A One-time Event or a Trend Toward Justice?

Pakistan Blasphemy Death Sentence Overturned: A One-time Event or a Trend Toward Justice?

On October 29, 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan reversed the decision of lower courts sentencing to death Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of four for blasphemy. After 3,422 days of imprisonment in solitary confinement, the Supreme Court reversed a 2010 lower court verdict. Asia Bibi is now in seclusion and will probably leave the country as some 60 persons[Read More…]

Highlighting the Need to Combat the Use of Rape as a Weapon of War

Highlighting the Need to Combat the Use of Rape as a Weapon of War

The co-laureate of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, Denis Mukwege, has become an eloquent spokesperson for the effort to outlaw the use of rape as a weapon of war. Rape has often been considered as a nearly normal part of war. When an army took a city or town, the rape of women followed, a reward to brave soldiers. Military[Read More…]

World Food Day: A Wholistic World Food Policy is Needed

World Food Day: A Wholistic World Food Policy is Needed

Since the hungry billion in the world community believe that we can all eat if we set our common house in order, they believe also that it is unjust that some men die because it is too much trouble to arrange for them to live. Stringfellow Barr Citizens of the World (1954) The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) aims[Read More…]

Nauru Government Condemns Mentally Traumatized Individuals to Life-long Anguish

Nauru Government Condemns Mentally Traumatized Individuals to Life-long Anguish

The Government of Nauru, the small Pacific island State, has expelled the medical and psychological personnel of the international non-governmental organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Sunday 7 October.  The Government gave no explanation for its actions, but relations with the NGO have been difficult in the 11 months that MSF has been working there.  It is likely that the Government feared[Read More…]

Transforming the United Nations System: Designs for a Workable World

Transforming the United Nations System: Designs for a Workable World

Joseph E. Schwartzberg. Transforming the United Nations System: Designs for a Workable World (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2013, 364pp.) In Memory of Joseph Schwartzberg who died on 19 September 2018 There have been a number of periods when proposals for new or different United Nations structures were proposed. The first period was in 1944-1945 when the U.N. Charter was[Read More…]

Freedom From Fear: Still an Unmet Goal

Freedom From Fear: Still an Unmet Goal

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945) in his January 6, 1941 State of the Union address to Congress presented the “Four Freedoms”, much of the world was at war: German troops were advancing in Europe as were the Japanese armies in China. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) said then “ I suppose that[Read More…]

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Global Compact for Migration: A Necessary First Step

Global Compact for Migration: A Necessary First Step

On 12 July 2018, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to the text of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration after more than a year of discussions among Member States, non-governmental organizations, academic specialists on migration issues as well as interviews with migrants and refugees. imm01_400The discussion had gained visibility in September 2016 at the U.N. General[Read More…]

A  Korean-War Peace Treaty: An Essential Framework for Asian Security

A  Korean-War Peace Treaty: An Essential Framework for Asian Security

            The summit meeting in Singapore on 12 June of President Donald Trump of the United States and Kim Jong-un, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was a highly significant meeting, facilitated by a good number of diplomatic efforts, in particular that of Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea as well as[Read More…]

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United Nations: Looking Toward 2020

United Nations: Looking Toward 2020

There are two major issues today that the League of Nations did not have to face. Thus when the League was reincarnated in 1945 as the United Nations, no one considered how to structure appropriate responses. The major political issue today is the disintegration of Member States. The second major issue is the ecological and social consequences of global warming.[Read More…]

Syria: Chemical Weapons Use, Destruction Of Children, The Ethical Vacuum

Syria: Chemical Weapons Use, Destruction Of Children, The Ethical Vacuum

  At the heart of this growing phenomenon of mass violence and social disintegration is a crisis of values. Perhaps the most fundamental loss a society can suffer is the collapse of its own value system. Many societies exposed to protracted conflicts have seen their community values radically undermined if not shattered altogether. This has given rise to an ethical[Read More…]

Korea: An Olympic Truce – Time For Concerted Nongovernmental Efforts

Korea: An Olympic Truce – Time For Concerted Nongovernmental Efforts

  The holding of the Winter Olympics in South Korea from February 9 to 25, followed by the Paralympics on March 9-18, may be an opportunity to undertake negotiations in good faith to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula and to establish, or re-establish, forms of cooperation between the two Korean governments. Such negotiations in good faith would be in[Read More…]

The Disintegrating Donbass. Is There A Future For A Con-federal Ukraine?

The Disintegrating Donbass. Is There A Future For A Con-federal Ukraine?

  The flight on 23 November 2017 of Igor Plotinitsky, President of the separatist Ukrainian area of the Lugansk People’s Republic is a sign of the continuing difficulties of developing appropriate forms of constitutional government in the Ukraine. Plotinitsky was in open conflict with his “Minister of the Interior” Igor Konet whom he had fired but who refused to give[Read More…]

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Battle For Raqqa: Protests Needed On Violations Of Humanitarian Law

Battle For Raqqa: Protests Needed On Violations Of Humanitarian Law

  The battle for Raqqa, a symbolic city for the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria is underway with ever-increasing dangers to civilian populations caught in the cross-fire of ISIS and the advancing Kurd-led Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by air strikes of the US-led coalition. The United Nations Secretariat has raised an alarm concerning the fate of families held by the[Read More…]

Instability Widens In Mali And The Sahel Region of Africa

Instability Widens In Mali And The Sahel Region of Africa

The first foreign visit of the new French President Emmanuel Macron, after a now habitual trip to Berlin, was to Gao in northern Mali as head of the French military. The visit was an attempt to be seen as paying attention to the efforts of French troops in operations in northern Mali and other states of the Sahel region of[Read More…]

Korean Tensions: Could They Slip Out of Control?

Korean Tensions: Could They Slip Out of Control?

  There have been over the years since the 1953 armistace periodic increases of tensions related to the policies of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Currently, the nuclear program and missile launches of North Korea, the establishment of sophisticated anti-missile systems in South Korea, increased sanctions against North Korea voted[Read More…]

Yemen: Effective Humanitarian Aid Depends on a Peace Accord

Yemen: Effective Humanitarian Aid Depends on a Peace Accord

  The United Nations (UN) together with the governments of Sweden and Switzerland which have often led humanitarian issues in the UN system held a high-level pledging conference in Geneva on April 25, 2017 to again draw attention to the deepening humanitarian crisis in war-torn Yemen, currently the largest food security emergency in the world. Some 60% of the population[Read More…]

Our Common Oceans And Seas

Our Common Oceans And Seas

The United Nations is currently preparing a world conference 5-7 June 2017 devoted to the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal N° 14: Conserve and sustainable use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the U.N. are invited to submit recommendations for the governmental working group which is meeting 24 to 27 April[Read More…]

Building On The UN Summit To Address Large Movements Of Refugees And Migrants

Building On The UN Summit To Address Large Movements Of Refugees And Migrants

On 19 September 2016, the UN General Assembly held a one-day Summit on « Addressing Large Movements o Refugees and Migrants » – a complex of issues which have become important and emotional issues in many countries. Restrictive migration policies deny many migrants the possibility of acquiring a regular migrant status, and as a result, the migrants end up being[Read More…]