• Africa

    Advocates for Besieged Children Say Collaboration Is Essential

    by  • May 1, 2016 • Africa, Asia, Child Soldiers, Middle East • 
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    Former child soldiers, including 147 boys and 5 girls, were reunited with their families in eastern Congo.

    Grim images from the small world of children are multiplying. Little bodies adrift in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Uncomprehending faces pressed against wire fences and barricades in Europe from the Balkans to the French port of Calais. At least 17 Syrian children and their pediatrician slaughtered by a bomb apparently targeting a hospital...

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    Obama, at His Last Nuclear Summit, Urges Strong Vigilance Ahead

    by  • April 5, 2016 • Africa, Nuclear Disarmament, US Foreign Relations • 
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    BEN SOLOMON/US STATE DEPARTMENT

    When the last of President Barack Obama’s four summit meetings on keeping weapons-grade material out of the hands of terrorists and criminals ended on April 1, there were no headline advances to report, as experts were predicting. Instead, Obama took the opportunity at a farewell news conference to count how considerable progress had been...

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    The UN’s First Feminist, Peg Snyder, Describes Her Brilliant Career

    by  • March 22, 2016 • Africa, Development, Women's Issues • 
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    Peg Snyder

    As the Commission on the Status of Women convenes to tackle 21st-century feminist issues, Margaret Snyder — “Peg” to almost everyone who has met her — can take a long view of the history of women in the United Nations system, the hurdles they overcame and the changes they have made. Best known as the...

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    As Women’s Rights Gain Broadly in Africa, the Global Picture Looks More Mixed

    by  • March 15, 2016 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Latin America, Women's Issues • 
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    From left: Ruchira Gupta, Liesl Gerntholtz, Abosede George, Gimena Sánchez and Ellen Chesler.

    Hailing from various corners of the world, five activists gathered in New York recently to assess the progress of women’s rights globally — presenting a mixed picture of gains in Africa but threats to women’s rights through new programs countering violent extremism — just as the world celebrated International Women’s Day. The five women,...

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    A Gift for Balance: ‘Soba’ Ladies Sell Their Goods

    by  • March 6, 2016 • Africa, Women's Issues • 
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    A tomato "soba." NABILA EL HADAD

    OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Everyday, from dawn to dusk, under intense sunshine, thousands of women travel to work through the streets of this capital of nearly three million inhabitants, managing like tightrope walkers the dusty, cratered roads, slaloming between cars and motos, the skin of their feet cracked by the daily march, the lines...

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    Snakes, Scorpions and Red Tape: Europeans Adjust to the UN Mission in Mali

    by  • February 11, 2016 • Africa, Terrorism, UN Peacekeeping, US Foreign Relations • 
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    tktktkt

    Since its rollout in 2013, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali has been actively recruiting more European troops to strengthen its ranks of police, military and civilian personnel from African and Asian countries, typical sources for UN missions. The mission’s main mandate is to protect civilians, stabilize the country and carry out a...

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    Attacks in West Africa Show Regional Security Reliance on France and US

    by  • February 9, 2016 • Africa, Terrorism • 
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    tktkt

    OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — It was about 7:30 p.m. when the meeting began on the fourth floor of the Splendid Hotel here on Jan. 15 in this capital city. Fourteen people were gathered to discuss the launching of a humanitarian association, with a Burkina government minister present. Phones were put in silent mode. While...

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    In Burkina Faso, a US Ambassador Wins Over a Slice of Francophone West Africa

    by  • January 13, 2016 • Africa, US Foreign Relations • 
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    Tulinabo Mushingi, center, the US ambassador to Burkina Faso

    OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Nowhere can the positive presence of the United States in West Africa be more obvious than in the quiet, dusty nation of Burkina Faso, a mostly rural state surrounded by six other countries of ranging stability: Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger and Togo. Near the heart of a well-coordinated...

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    All in Africa: The World’s 13 Highest-Mortality Countries

    by  • January 6, 2016 • Africa, Development, Health and Population, Poverty, Women's Issues • 1 Comment
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    M'Poko camp in Central African Republic

    Despite remarkable reductions in mortality, 13 sub-Saharan African countries — 1 out of every 20 people in the world — have yet to achieve life expectancies at birth of 55 years, the global average attained a half century ago. These highest-mortality countries, with Somalia leading the list, are more than 15 years behind the...

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    The UN’s Support of Midwifery and the Serious Gaps That Remain

    by  • December 21, 2015 • Africa, Health and Population, Sustainable Development Goals, UN Agencies, Women's Issues • 
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    The world faces a shortage of midwives, who could crucially cut the maternal death rate. Here, Cambodians training to be midwives, in an Australian financed program at the Technical School for Medical Care in Phnom Penh. CHRISTOFFE GARGIULO

    Midwifery is one of the world’s most ancient vocations, its practitioners playing a prominent role dating back to the Bible. In much of the world, midwives continue to play an important role in maintaining the health of women and newborns. It should come as no surprise, then, that investments in this occupation, according to...

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