Keyword : Letter From Europe

Food security: Public stockholding war begins… again

The negotiations for finding a permanent solution for public stockpiling for food security in developing countries by July 31 are underway in the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation (WTO) with fr

Housing is a human right, says Leilani Farha

Leilani Farha is UN’s special rapporteur (SR) on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context. Sh

“This conference is all about prevention [of violent extremism]”

Jehangir Khan is the director of Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) and the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) in the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) in the UN Secretari

The ordeals of preventing radicalisation

The UN co-hosted a high-level conference in Geneva on preventing violent extremism (PVE) on April 7 and 8. The conference drew some 30 government ministers, including the foreign ministers of Belgi

Selecting for the top UN job

The world’s most important diplomatic post is up for grabs. The process of selecting the next UN secretary-general (UNSG) has already begun. However, despite the fact that the final selection

The challenges to becoming an innovation-rich nation

Switzerland continues to be the most innovative country while India comes 66th in a new UN report that ranks 128 countries on their annual innovative capabilities. The ninth

Weapons of blind destruction

A woman was woken by the army in the middle of the night after a 500-pound bomb was discovered a few hundred feet from her home in a leafy neighbourhood in London. This was in August 2015. The bomb

“The greatest challenge comes from non-state armed groups”

How effective is the Mine Ban Treaty since most of the big states like the US, Russia, India, China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are not yet signatories to it? With 16

“Increase in recorded casualties is raising an alarm”

How effective is the Mine Ban Treaty since most of the big states are not yet signatories to it? The Mine Ban Treaty has created a very strong norm on the prohibitio

“Interesting times” for US-UN diplomacy under Trump raj

The inevitable has happened albeit a tad sooner than expected. US president-elect Donald Trump has clashed with the UN even before he has assumed office promising that “things will be differe

Tough times ahead for labour market and global trade

US president Donald Trump may have seized the job of running the world’s most powerful government with a promise of bringing work back to American shores, but if international predictions are

India makes strong case for cheap meds

The governing body of the UN’s health agency that sets the agenda of work on global health met late January. In its 140th session, the executive board (EB) of the World Health Organisation (W

WTO in the age of protectionism

The major upsetting of political apple carts globally in the past year has serious ramifications for multilateral establishments. With increasing clamour against immigrants and “unfair”

The battle to access affordable medicines heats up

Tobeka Daki, a single South African mother and health activist from the eastern Cape, died fighting breast cancer in November last year. Her oncologist had told Tobeka that she needed trast

“Privacy is the foundation of what makes life worth living”

Joseph A Cannataci is the UN’s first and current special rapporteur for the right to privacy appointed by the Human Rights Council (HRC) in July 2015. His appointment came with grow

The great Syrian war game

As the 59 American Tomahawk missiles lit up the dark skies, smashing Syria’s Shayrat air base near Homs, the collective conscience of the “civilised world” was assuaged. S

Of being impoverished and diseased

A giant yellow inflatable schistosomiasis worm, with ‘Making Schistory’ printed on it, floated on Lake Geneva, marking the five years since the London Declaration on neglected tropical

India’s halls of shame

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted the report of India’s human rights record review on May 9. There were 250 recommendations by 103 countries that had taken the floor five days earli

Tedros becomes the first African to head WHO

“Call me Tedros,” the newly elected director-general (DG) of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told a Chinese reporter at a press conference held aft

Making cancer treatment accessible

 In a world that sees far-from-perfect global healthcare systems, lack of access to cancer treatment – a disease which currently is the second leading cause of death – is the most

“I don’t see in the next ten years any real solution for the people of Syria”

The seventh round of the Syria peace talks will begin on July 10 in Geneva which will be convened by the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. Violence and persecution in places l

Towards a world free from nukes

“Voting has been completed. The machine is locked,” announced the secretary conducting the voting process for the adoption of a UN treaty at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

War in the time of cholera: why Yemen needs urgent ceasefire

A forgotten war tucked away in the southern-most part of west Asia has begot one of the worst humanitarian disasters the world has seen. An international aid agencies’ report says that Yemen

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