The Egyptian's time as Secretary General was marked by a casual indifference to genocide.
By Pádraig Belton*
Scion of a distinguished Coptic family, grandson of an assassinated Egyptian prime minister, a Fulbright scholar with a doctorate from the Sorbonne — there’s no doubt you’d have done well to have Boutros-Ghali sat beside you at a dinner party.
He took office as Secretary General of the UN on the first day of 1992. The Soviet Union had dissolved on 25 December 1991.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who passed away on February 16 at the age of 93, was the only UN Secretary-General (1992-1996) to be denied a second term in office because of a US veto in the 15-member Security Council.
The U.S., which preaches the concept of majority rule to the outside world, exercised its veto even though Boutros-Ghali had 14 of the 15 votes in the Security Council, including the votes of the other four permanent members of the Council, namely the UK, France, Russia and China.
The international health landscape is transforming at a dizzying speed, leading to the recalibration of power among different actors. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the changing role of the World Health Organisation.
In 1948, WHO was formed to coordinate and direct international health work. The goal was to achieve the highest possible level of health. The formalisation of WHO’s role rose out of long-standing efforts to coordinate international health which began with the convening of regular international sanitary conferences in the mid-19th century. This practice was to lead to the first known international treaty on cholera which expanded to cover plague and yellow fever.
TEHRAN - “Mistreatment of Afghan businesspeople by Pakistanis has made them complain.” This story has been covered by Afghan media time and time again, but they have no choice. Afghanistan is a landlocked country with no access to free waters and Karachi port in Pakistan is the sole route for Afghans through which they can engage in trade with the rest of the world.
Therefore, Afghan officials have reached the conclusion that in cooperation with India, they must go for Iran's south-eastern Chabahar port, which can offer a good substitute for Karachi port. This issue was one of the main reasons behind a three-day trip to Iran early January by Afghanistan’s chief executive officer, Abdullah Abdullah.
TEHRAN - Finally, after about two years of negotiations and talks, the nuclear marathon between Iran and six big powers of the world reached its finishing point with the announcement of the Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and official announcement of the lifting of the European Union’s sanctions along with an important part of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Of course, any smart analyst and politician knows that this good ending is also a beginning for foreign obstructionist efforts, domestic conflicts, doubts on the part of trade partners about the volume and extent to which economic relations should be developed as well as magnification of any weakness by governments and media that were opposed to this process from the very beginning.
“The ISIS’ allure is that it is fighting these Arab tyrants across the region, even as it fulfils the longing of its adherents to participate in a cause that is founded on their own history and traditions”
Last year, as he addressed the congregation from the pulpit of the mosque in Mosul, the self-styled caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi invited all Muslims to migrate to the Islamic State “because hijra to the land of Islam is obligatory”. Read in Japanese
An Interview by Africa Renewal’s Kingsley Ighobor*
In this exclusive interview, the United Nations Secretary-General’s former special adviser on post-2015 development planning, Amina Mohammed, talks about the evolution of the process, the commitments made, the challenges ahead, and why the goals, if implemented, could transform the world.
Africa Renewal (AR): What were the lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and how did they shape the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
Amina Mohammed (AM): With the MDGs, we only addressed the symptoms. We didn’t really address the root causes of such development challenges as gender inequality, lack of access to clean water and the insufficiencies of health services. We’ve learned through this experience that having a set of goals directs people to discuss, create partnerships and find investments to execute plans. We’ve also learned to agree on the means of implementation. With the MDGs, we agreed to finance them after the goals were adopted, so we were always running after the money. This time, finance is part of the package.
Makarim Wibisono announced his resignation as UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, to take effect on March 31, 2016. This is a position I held for six years, completing my second term in June 2014.
The prominent Indonesian diplomat says that he could not fulfill his mandate because Israel has adamantly refused to give him access to the Palestinian people living under its military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“Unfortunately, my efforts to help improve the lives of Palestinian victims of violations under the Israeli occupation have been frustrated every step of the way,” Wibisono explains.
Although it was established 40 years ago, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) is still relevant today says secretary general Dr Patrick Ignatius Gomes.
Guyanese-born Dr Gomes, who is in Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) for a few days before flying back on Tuesday to Brussels, Belgium, where the ACP headquarters is located, said the ACP was trying to shift from a dependency syndrome.
Now ten months into his five-year term at the ACP, Dr Gomes said his experience as secretary-general has so far been encouraging, demanding, challenging and interesting.
This year the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) celebrates its 25th anniversary: 25 years of promoting and protecting human rights. This is both a reason for celebration and reflection. To reflect on what we have done, what lessons we have learnt, and what we see as priorities for the future.
To commemorate this milestone FORUM-ASIA launched an anniversary campaign during an event on January 8, 2016 at the Pridi Banomyong Institute in Bangkok, Thailand. As part of the campaign a new publication was composed, ‘Our Struggle for Human Rights – 25 Years of FORUM-ASIA’. An online version of this publication can be found on http://25.forum-asia.org.