Looking for the humanitarian backbone at the top of the United Nations

Humanitarian business is booming worldwide as disasters, conflicts, and crises reach record levels. So, the appointment of the world’s chief humanitarian officer by the United Nations Secretary-General is of crucial interest to all who care about humanity. What type of person should fill this mandate?

“You are on mute”: suppressing and manipulating the digital freedom of expression

Internet shutdowns and censorship diminish scope for meaningful conversations. A world muted in this way is a dangerous one

Where is China’s Belt and Road taking the world?

The old Silk Roads went everywhere but today’s version – the Belt and Road – leads only to Beijing Those seeking quick no-questions-asked prosperity by rushing along it should open their eyes wider, the closer they get to the destination. They should also expect the ride to get more bumpy.

Hindsight 2020 as Foresight 2021: The world in the rear view mirror is closer than it may appear

Hindsight 2020 and Foresight 2021 are much the same. This critical “review of reviews” analyses the true state of the world at the end of this tumultuous year and posits that the next year will be much the same. Can #COVID19 be fully blamed for all the world’s afflictions? Before the pandemic the world was already crumbling fast and progress on all fronts of development, environment, health, humanitarian and human rights had faltered or regressed. To make future progress self and collective delusions have to be torn away to grip the sad realties most people are mired in and the tough challenges we face

The art and science of giving thanks (and pardoning turkeys)

How to give thanks for all that we have the good fortune to enjoy is a complex business and how do we do this in the COVID-19 era? Thanksgivings from around the world give us a clue on the art and science of doing it right.

Peace continues to elude the Nobel Prize

18 October 2020 – Mukesh Kapila The recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Programme (WFP) triggered mixed reactions. WFP’s humanitarian efforts certainly deserve applause. At the same time, questions arise. Do already privileged organisations doing their mandated jobs need such affirmation?  More fundamentally, should humanitarian and peace efforts be confounded?Continue reading “Peace continues to elude the Nobel Prize”