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Fulfilling the promise

On a straw mat on a hot day in the courtyard of a Buddhist pagoda in 1992 was the first time I understood the mighty reach of the Universal…


Building a better future for Syrians in Turkey

As thousands leave Syria for safer lands, images of white tents and perilous boat journeys have flooded the world’s media. But there’s another side to this story. In Turkey, the host of this week’s…  


Laws criminalizing drug possession can cause more harm

In many countries, a criminal record, even for a minor offense, can have serious implications. Being convicted of a crime makes you ineligible for certain jobs, social programmes or benefits or from…  


Timely rejuvenation of the African Peer Review Mechanism?

Six years before the 2014 Burkina Faso uprising, the country’s African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) report identified “omnipresent weight and domination of the majority, which seems to ‘block’ the…  


FGM ban begins a pivotal era for women and girls in The Gambia

In November 2015, the practice of Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C) was banned and subsequently criminalized in The Gambia. This marks an important milestone in the country’s journey to end…  


Zika is a wake-up call for all of us

Yesterday, the World Health Organization declared the spread of the Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern. Unlike other viruses spread through the bite of the Aedes mosquito…  


Gearing up to avoid a deeper crisis in Burundi

The situation in Burundi is extremely worrying. The political crisis comes on top of structural development problems, with repercussions in terms of humanitarian needs, social cohesion and the human…  


When home is no longer safe: Reporting human rights abuses in Yemen

"So close to dying”. This is how Hanan describes events earlier this year, when forces surrounded and stormed her home in Khur Maksar District, Aden, where she lived with her husband, 4-year-old…  


Fighting corruption in infrastructure – a must for achieving the 2030 Agenda

In September 2015, world leaders from 193 UN member states gathered in New York to adopt the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To achieve this universal agenda, we’ll need robust and…  


Afro-Brazilian women take to the streets. How about also taking up seats in parliament?

“The power structure [in our region] is macho, white and old,” said Creuza Oliveira, President of the National Federation of Domestic Workers of Brazil. Creuza’s speech during the ECLAC-UNDP Regional…  


Skills training is a pathway to economic growth for all

Fatos Hasolli can’t find a job, despite having a university degree in engineering. The Kosovan young man, in his mid-20s, decided his best option is to leave Kosovo* and find a job elsewhere. His…  


Portraits of peace: Community heroes share their stories

“Don’t stay aside, help each other to get to peace, and help men…Women are the core of the society and so they have very important roles in bringing peace. That is why I always ask them: join…  


End impunity for corruption to boost resources for development

Ending impunity was the main topic at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference that took place this month in Malaysia. Most topics discussed at the conference resonated well with the proposed…  



Securing our societies from the threat of senseless terrorism

Since 2000, we have witnessed a more than ten-fold increase in the number of deaths from violent extremism and terrorism - from 3,329 victims in 2000 to 32,685 in 2014. And the death toll keeps…  


Managing the refuse of the refused

Imagine yourself as the mayor of a small border province in Southeastern Anatolia five years ago. It is a big day for you. After years of petitions, meetings, and a heavy financial burden you are…  

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