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Rwandan warlord Bosco Ntaganda has handed himself into the International Criminal Court. What implications does this have for future cases? AAP/Peter Dejong

Congo warlord Bosco Ntaganda’s surrender offers renewed hopes for peace

On the morning of the 18th of March, Bosco “The Terminator” Ntaganda presented himself at the US Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, and requested that he be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC…
We were delighted to be elected to the security council, now we must make the most of our tenure. AAP/Andrew Gombert

Australia must take a human rights focus at the security council

Now that Australia has taken its seat on the UN Security Council, it is worth considering how we might make a difference. Former diplomat Bruce Haig has recently dismissed Australia’s new role as chair…
Boycotting the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is not Anti-Semitic; it’s a recognition of violations of international law. Flickr/delayed gratification

Establishing the facts about the boycott of Israeli academic institutions

The last weeks of 2012 saw a great amount of criticism levelled at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University and its director Jake Lynch following their boycott of an exchange program…
Governments should be careful to protect human rights when contracting with businesses, such as health services in immigration detention. Department of Immigration & Citizenship

It’s time for business schools to put human rights on the agenda

Last week, the UN held its first-ever business and human rights forum in Geneva. It’s part of a growing awareness that multinationals have a big impact on human rights. Opening the forum, the UN’s human…
Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian delegation applaud after the vote on a resolution to upgrade Palestine’s status in the UN. EPA/Andrew Gombert

The art of the possible: recognising Palestinian statehood

The road of history is a pot-holed one. But that doesn’t mean, despite the crashes and stutters, that we don’t eventually get past them. The UN vote over upgrading the Palestinians to non-member observer…
Australia has won a seat at the table; but how much is it actually worth? EPA/Andrew Gombert

A misunderstood victory: Australia and the security council

It took a herculean effort, a lot of lobbying and much cash, but Australia has now, with a certain degree of surprise, netted a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for two years, starting in…
With its natural beauty, Rio provided the ideal backdrop for the earth summit. Anna Magal

Rio+20 and chronic diseases: a glass half-empty or half-full?

Rio provided the ideal backdrop for the Rio+20 “earth summit” – with the jungle at its backdoor, nestled among magnificent jagged mountaintops, bordered by kilometres of white sandy Atlantic beaches, and…
Huge conferences with thousands of participants aren’t getting us anywhere. Nic Bothma/EPA

Rio+20: We do not need more global sustainability conferences

Global sustainability conferences no longer fulfil a useful purpose, considering the existing dense institutional framework. We know what the problems are and need no further agenda setting. We need action…
We need to take a better look at the role women can play in the Millenium Devlopment Goals. AAP/EPA/Harish Tyagi

Challenge 11: How improving women’s status helps us all

In part 11 of the multi-disciplinary Millennium Project series, Danielle Logue and Mel Dunn note the striking absence of male voices in discussions of women’s empowerment, despite it being fundamental…
Big, ambitious strides aren’t the way to escape from this mess. EPA/Zsolt Szigetvary

Rio+20: Small steps could get us out of the climate quicksand

Yesterday, Nick Rowley looked at the history of sustainability agreements and why we’ve reached the impasse of Rio+20. Today he suggests a different approach. Back in November 2005, your perspective on…
The Rio Earth Summit approach to saving the planet is looking pretty old-fashioned. United Nations Photos

Rio+20: Multi-lateralism staggers; how to make it run?

Twenty years ago in a clamour of global public and media interest, representatives of all UN member states gathered in Rio de Janeiro to take part in the first Earth Summit. Later this week, the Rio+20…
Can a booming coal industry and a Heritage-Listed reef co-exist? AAP/Dave Hunt

The Great Barrier Reef at a crossroads

Last Friday the World Heritage Centre and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released a report on the state of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest World Heritage Property…
The bodies of people, including children, that anti-government activists claimed were killed by the Syrian Army in Houla.

Syria: is an international solution possible?

The appalling massacre of civilians, including children, in the town of Houla, near the Syrian city of Homs, was a senseless act beyond the unacceptable and ultimately self-defeating goal of crushing all…
Chronic diseases act as a driver for disadvantage in the developing world, leading to cycles of poverty. Secom Bahia/Flickr

Five myths about the global epidemic of chronic diseases

The eyes and ears of the global health world were firmly fixed on Geneva last week for the 2012 World Health Assembly, the annual meeting of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) member states. One of…
Knocking down forests and planting palm oil makes sense in Asia. Providing alternative income sources for villagers could make it less attractive. Simon J. Rowntree

Forestry, economic development & climate change in Asia: resolving the tension

Reducing poverty in developing countries through economic development is often contrary to addressing climate change. In countries like Indonesia, many of the strongest drivers of the economy – palm oil…
Rudd’s commitment to Australia’s bid for a UN security council seat must continue under Bob Carr. EPA/Jason Szenes

Australia shouldn’t give up on a UN security council seat

Now we have a new foreign minister, some have suggested it’s time for Australia to give up its bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. During his time as prime minister and foreign minister…
Manure is a great source of phosphorus, but we’ve largely removed it from agriculture. Flickr/Amy Alana Star

Time for policy action on global phosphorus security

Without phosphorus we cannot produce food. Yet even as pressure mounts on this critical non-renewable resource, there is a startling lack of global governance of its use and supply. If no one takes responsibility…

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