The death of Dag Hammarskjöld, who was the second UN secretary-general, in an airplane crash in 1961 remains shrouded in mystery. UN investigations have not lead to convincing results so far. A recently published book offers insights into the matter, along with an appraisal of Hammarskjöld’s role in decolonisation and his lasting impacts on the development of the UN.
The rise of right-wing populism in several rich nations makes it increasingly difficult to promote democracy. If the president of the United States can run roughshod over relevant principles, why should leaders of developing countries be expected to respect them? Last week, we witnessed another step downwards: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he will suspend parliament that does not agree with his approach to leaving the EU.
Argentina and Zimbabwe are very different countries. What they have in common, however, is that they are suffering severe economic crises, and there is no straightforward way for policymakers to improve things. Both countries probably need international support of a kind that the multilateral system so far simply does not provide: cross-border social protection.
Ed Husain spells out many important insights in his book “The house of Islam”, which was published last year. However, it is not the “global history” the subtitle promises. Anyone who is unfamiliar with Muslim history should not rely only on his work to gain a first understanding of these important issues. Karen Armstrong's "Islam - A short history" of 2000 is good complementary reading.
The rise of right-wing populism is closely linked to the growth of offshore finance, according to two scholars. In a paper written for the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute (TNI), they even argue that global oligarchs are driving populist agitation.
German media are currently discussing whether our country’s navy should support a European military mission in the Arab Gulf region. Shortly before Theresa May was replaced by Boris Johnson as British prime minister last week, her government proposed such a mission. The idea is to form a coalition of the willing that might protect ships from Iranian aggression.
Despite some obvious advances regarding women and power – having female politicians, for example –, there are many setbacks in the fight for equal rights for all sexes. One of the ways to keep women from power is the exertion of psychological and physical violence against them, sometimes leading to their death.
For too many girls in developing countries the beginning of their menstrual cycle is the end of their education – and their dreams. “Period. End of Sentence.” is an example of how women can be empowered through discussing, educating about and addressing the problems that can accompany menstruation.
The EU’s stance on migration has taken on a new negative dimension. Again and again, refugees from African countries are stuck for days or weeks in rescue ships off the European coast. European countries, in particular Italy, refuse rescue ships access to their ports.