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Countries Should Look Beyond UN Security Council to Get Aid to Syrians

The UN Security Council’s move last week to confine official, cross-border humanitarian aid to northern Syria to a single crossing on the Turkish border is the final nail in the coffin of the UN’s 6-year-old aid mechanism. It’s also another example of…
Women walk in a neighborhood heavily damaged by airstrikes in Idlib, Syria, March 12, 2020.
News
South Africa will soon have a chance to use its UN Security Council seat to show that when it comes to Syria, it is fulfilling Nelson Mandela’s hope that “human rights will be the light that guides our foreign policy.” Sadly, South Africa’s voting…
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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There is a reason why autocrats aggressively seek to host mega sporting events. They offer publicity and a veneer of respectability — two things Russia is desperately in the market for. In less than a hundred days, Russia will host the FIFA …
A general view shows Volgograd Arena, the stadium under construction which will host matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, in the city of Volgograd, Russia February 2, 2018.
News
As members of the UN Security Council debate this week about whether to renew their Syria chemical weapons investigation, they might want to read Wilfred Owen’s World War One poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est.” It describes an attack in which a man…
A poison hazard danger sign is seen in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province, Syria on April 5, 2017.
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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Ten years ago security forces gunned down hundreds of protesters in the city of Andjian, eastern Uzbekistan. The massacre on May 13, 2005 was one of the largest mass killings in the former Soviet Union outside of an armed conflict since the fall of…
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The political negotiations over Syria, now set to continue next month in Geneva, will be tortuous and lengthy at best, while the Syrian government and certain opposition groups continue to commit horrible abuses against innocent civilians. But that doesn’…
News
At a hospital in eastern Lebanon, Dr. Qassem al-Zayn, a soft-spoken Syrian  in his fifties, broke into a big smile when he realized that we both spoke Russian. I shouldn’t have been surprised, though. During my trips to opposition-controlled areas in…
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The family of a Gitmo detainee twice cleared for transfer remains pessimistic, despite Obama's speech vowing reform

Muhammad al-Baidhani, an 11-year-old Yemeni boy with a mop of brown curls, only knows his father from photos and a one-hour video conference every two months. Before Muhammad was born, his father was captured and sent to the U.S. military prison at…
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The last time Amina al-Rabeii video conferenced from Yemen with her brother Salman, a detainee at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, she barely recognized the skeletal man on the screen. “His eyes were sunken into dark recesses,” al-…
News
Unusual currents have been swirling around the United Nations Security Council’s shameful paralysis on Syria, a product of repeated vetoes by Russia and China. On January 14, a group of 58 governments urged the council to ask the International Criminal…
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The candidates may disagree on some human rights issues, but the next president will face challenges that transcend partisan lines. How might tomorrow's presidential election affect U.S. policy on human rights? The common wisdom is that unlike their sharp…
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The first UN International Day of the Girl, designed to promote education for young women everywhere, is the perfect opportunity to finally stamp out child marriage, writes Gauri van Gulik from Human Rights Watch. When she was 16 years old, Habibe’s…
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As the world was gripped this week by the storming of U.S. diplomatic compounds in the Middle East, another troubling event that coincided with the September 11 anniversary unfolded largely unnoticed at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay. …
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US military commissions revoke for al-Qaida suspects the standard of justice extended to Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg In the course of three days in late August, I travelled from Courtroom 600 in Nuremberg, Germany, where an international…
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Will history repeat itself at the UN Security Council?

Will history repeat itself at the United Nations (UN) Security Council? The last time South Africa was called to vote on a resolution on Syria, on October 4 last year, it chose to abstain, along with India and Brazil. By doing so, the South African…