Tag: United Nations

Why Aren’t Sexual Exploitation & Abuse and Gender-Based Violence Treated the Same Way in Peace and Humanitarian Operations?

The recent #MeToo hashtag and associated social media storm highlighted the extensiveness of sexual abuse and harassment and the exploitation of women and girls (and in some cases men and boys) by those in positions of power. It showed that the problem does not come down to a few “bad apples”, but is systemic, impacting… Read more »

Yemen is on the Brink

Most of the world’s attention has recently been directed towards Syria. In the shadow of Syria, the conflict in Yemen has been left to its own devices, and Yemen is now set to experience an even greater humanitarian catastrophe than Syria. In Syria, we witness the beginning of the end of one of the bloodiest… Read more »

The End Of Migrants As We Know Them?

The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants holds the promise of progress. But ahead of the summit, communications staff were pushing a warped view of migrant diversity. Even the International Organization of Migration (IOM) is straying from its mission to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants. When migration issues rose to the top of… Read more »

Peace is a Process

On 21 June 2016, UNESCO hosted a path-breaking Consultative Meeting on the contribution of the UN system to the promotion of peace. The meeting was attended by heads of 28 United Nations entities (programmes, funds, specialized agencies and bodies), who discussed the advancement of the global peace agenda and took stock of the present situation… Read more »

The Humanitarian Quest for Accountability: Examining the role of UNHCR

The European refugee crisis has been a difficult experience for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). On the one hand, UNHCR has been criticized by civil society and the humanitarian community for not being present on Greek islands. On the other hand, the organization has experienced difficulties in negotiating this access with Greek… Read more »

Attacks on Humanitarian Aid Workers: Five New Findings

More aid workers are being targeted in violent attacks than ever before, but the roots of humanitarian insecurity have nuanced and surprising causes. Syria. Afghanistan. Mali. Central African Republic. Today’s complex conflicts seem to be defined by insurgents, terrorist groups and other violent actors with ideologies that increasingly disregard the rules of war. Over 150,000 people died… Read more »

The Next UN Secretary-General: Everything Points Towards a Woman

The High Level week of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly opened this week. Important issues will be debated and decisions made, which in turn will establish guidelines for the UN’s image and operations in the coming years. Next year’s election of a new Secretary-General is lurking in the background. After eight male… Read more »

Peacekeeping Works

An assessment of the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations The increase in the deployment of UN ‘blue helmets’ is a key driver of the gradual decline in the number and severity of armed conflicts worldwide since the mid-1990s. This brief summarizes a study that assesses the complete, long-term effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations. It shows… Read more »

Do they Really Care? Protection of Civilians and the Veto Powers

It was not until the advances of IS in Syria and Iraq turned into an international security threat that a military intervention was launched in September 2014. A horrendous civil war had then killed tens of thousands Syrian civilians and displaced millions without provoking any similar reaction. In this blog post I reflect on what… Read more »