Our Perspective

      • Nepal: Seeking justice for a father's murder

        04 Oct 2013

        Suman Adhikari, third from the right, protests against impunity in Nepal.

        My father was a school teacher at the Sanskrit high school in our village. He was also a social worker and an activist at Amnesty International. During the conflict, Maoist fighters approached him and demanded a quarter of his salary. But my father said he would not give money to support the torture and killing of innocent people. One day in 2002, while he was teaching class, the armed fighters tied his hands and feet and dragged him away. They tied him to a tree not far from our home and shot him. They said that anyone who touched the body would suffer the same fate. There were many similar episodes of violence across the country. People were brutally tortured and killed. Though my family and I couldn't get our father back, we decided to do something in his name to help others. Today, we provide scholarships at my father's school for students who are poor or affected by the conflict and, through the Conflict Victims Orphans' Society, we help children who lost their parents. But justice is still not a reality. After the peace agreement in 2006, we hoped that the truth commissions and the government would bring the perpetrators Read More

      • Colombia: Still a long way from home | Debora Barros

        04 Oct 2013

        Like the Wayuu, the Tule people of Colombia also deal with discrimination and violation of human rights, an experience shared by many indigenous people. Photo: B. Heger, UNHCR

        When rebel forces killed the women in my community, our lives changed forever. In my culture, as an indigenous Wayuu in Colombia, women are sacred. We are the ones who transmit our language, traditions and lineage to future generations. To kill a mother is to kill the culture and the life of a community. As a child, I grew up without fear. I played in the desert with my cousins without any feeling of danger. It was a wonderful time. I became a happy, smart and organized woman and was chosen by my community to study law at university. When I came back during vacation, I would explain western music and traditions to the members of my community. But on 18 April 2004, rebels came and attacked my village. They raped, beheaded and killed the women by making grenades explode in their faces. It is too horrible to speak about. When we return to our destroyed village, we cry as if it had happened yesterday. Nine years later, we still don't know why this happened. But the 102 families in community have remained strong and united. With help in advocating for our rights from organizations like UNDP, we have convinced mayors Read More

      • Africa's mineral wealth can be a springboard for development | A. mar Dieye

        04 Oct 2013

        Africa is poised to make the delicate transition from growth to shared prosperity and increased well-being. Photo: UNDP in Togo

        Africa is on the verge of a development breakthrough. Extreme poverty has come down, child and maternal mortality have been sharply reduced, and most countries have made progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight internationally-agreed targets to reduce poverty, hunger, and disease by 2015. But it will take a different kind of growth - faster and more inclusive - to improve the lives of people in Africa on a much broader scale. There is today a unique combination of high commodity prices and very large discoveries of oil, gas, minerals that has the potential to both accelerate growth and improve standards of living in Africa in the years to come - provided that African countries can do three things. First, capture effectively and transparently the proceeds from extracting resources. Much of the income generated from mining, oil, and gas industries usually goes to the foreign companies providing the technology, skills, and finance. Whether Africans benefit depends largely on how effective governments are in raising revenues from taxes and royalties. Second, managing revenues from oil, gas and mining also implies making decisions on how much to invest now, versus how much to save for later, given that these resources Read More

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