Theme

Equality and Human Rights

'All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.'

– Article One, The UN Declaration of Human Rights

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Commentary
The work of UNRWA must be sustained

The work of UNRWA must be sustained

Israeli accusations that staff of the UN Humanitarian agency UNRWA which works in Gaza, were involved in the 7 October attacks on Israel need to be taken seriously, and the UN leadership must flash out any bad apples amongst the many, and restore the reputation of the organisation for professionalism. But the knee-jerk reaction of several Western governments in suspending funding to UNRWA is unacceptable, especially given the dire situation of millions of Palestinians, made much worse by the recent war in Gaza. Stopping the work of UNRWA will make an already significant humanitarian disaster much worse. In this regard, countries like Norway and Spain are to be commended. They kept a cool head and reiterated their commitment and support to UNRWA, whilst others were more hasty in halting or suspending support for the agency. There are two problems here: financial and political. The financial aspect is solvable. Gulf states need to step in and compensate for any shortfall in UNRWA’s budget. Other countries need also to step up. But the bigger problem is political. The support of Western countries for UNRWA gives it the necessary prestige that allows its leadership to negotiate the stormy waters of the Middle East. This should not be lost. Countries like UK, Netherlands, Germany and Italy, need to quickly reconsider their position and restore the funding to UNRWA. UNRWA was established in 1948 as a temporary measure to provide relief to the Palestinian people. That seventy-five years later it is still needed more than ever is a testimony of the failure of the international community to do justice to the Palestinians. From the tragedy and suffering of the last five months a new reality must emerge that must necessarily include the creation of a viable Palestinian state. It is time for the EU and European countries in particular, but also the US, to think strategically and act firmly.

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ICC prosecutor urges Sudan to hand over those accused of genocide

ICC prosecutor urges Sudan to hand over those accused of genocide

International Criminal Court prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has said that victims of war crimes and genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan want those accused to be handed over and brought to court. The remarks come after Bensouda visited the Darfur region earlier this week.
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Commentary: A shaken EU fires opening shots in long war of attrition with Belarus

Commentary: A shaken EU fires opening shots in long war of attrition with Belarus

The united European response to the brazen Belarusian snatching of an opposition figure from a commercial airplane of a European airline flying between two European capitals was swift and strong. Nothing dramatic will happen overnight as a result, but make no mistake about it, this was the opening shot of what is likely to be a long and messy war of attrition against Belarus that may last for years. On Belarus now, the EU's mind is set. The process will start and will be sustained.
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Morocco allows thousands of migrants to swim to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta

Morocco allows thousands of migrants to swim to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta

The town of Ceuta, together with its sister town Mellila a bit further down the Mediterranean coast, is an anachronism. Whilst situated on the African continent the towns are recognised as being fully part of Spain – a colonial hang-over that has taken a life of its own. The enclaves were once considered of strategic importance for the defence of Spain. They have now become springboards for illegal migration into Europe. Yesterday, 5,000 arrived, taking the authorities by surprise. They say the migrants either swam around the border fences that jut out into the sea or walked across at low tide.
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Commentary: Biden's G-moment should not be interpreted as a shift in US policy towards the South Caucasus

Commentary: Biden's G-moment should not be interpreted as a shift in US policy towards the South Caucasus

Biden's use of the word "genocide" was a significant moral victory for the Armenian people however the geostrategic implications of this for the South Caucasus should not be exaggerated, argues Benyamin Poghosyan in this commentary.