Managing migration is one of the most profound challenges for international cooperation in our time.
Migration powers economic growth, reduces inequalities and connects diverse societies. Yet it is also a source of political tensions and human tragedies. The majority of migrants live and work legally. But a desperate minority are putting their lives at risk to enter countries where they face suspicion and abuse.
Demographic pressures and the impact of climate change on vulnerable societies are likely to drive further migration in the years ahead. As a global community, we face a choice. Do we want migration to be a source of prosperity and international solidarity, or a byword for inhumanity and social friction?… Seguir leyendo » “Toward a new global compact on migration”
While the world applauds the recent agreement on chemical weapons in Syria as a step toward peace, there is no time for false comfort. For the millions of Syrians who have been uprooted from their homes, the more pressing questions of life and death stem from basic concerns: food, water, shelter and medicine. And with the onset of winter, the challenge to survive grows even more daunting.
Winter’s bitter cup will add to the suffering and grief that wreak havoc among the 2.2 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. In the coming months, more than a million displaced children will find themselves in sub-zero temperatures.… Seguir leyendo » “Need for Syrian aid grows more urgent as winter approaches”
After more than two years of conflict and more than 70,000 deaths, including thousands of children. … After more than five million people have been forced to leave their homes, including over a million refugees living in severely stressed neighboring countries … After so many families torn apart and communities razed, schools and hospitals wrecked and water systems ruined … After all this, there still seems to be an insufficient sense of urgency among the governments and parties that could put a stop to the cruelty and carnage in Syria.
We, leaders of U.N. agencies charged with dealing with the human costs of this tragedy, appeal to political leaders involved to meet their responsibility to the people of Syria and to the future of the region.… Seguir leyendo » “A U.N. Appeal to Save Syria”
On Wednesday, my colleagues will register the one millionth Syrian refugee. A milestone in human tragedy. And a figure that should, after two years of death and destruction, stir the level of political action needed to put an end to this war before more lives are lost, more people forced to flee and the conflict destabilizes the region.
The exodus from Syria has accelerated dramatically in recent weeks. In early December, some 20 months after the crisis began, refugee figures stood at 500,000. It has only taken three months for that number to double. As violence in Syria spirals out of control, more than 7,000 people arrive in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq every single day.… Seguir leyendo » “One Million Syrian Refugees”
For many people, Timbuktu has long represented the essence of remoteness: a mythical, faraway place located on the boundaries of our collective consciousness. But like many of the myths associated with colonialism, the reality is very different.
Medieval texts show that Timbuktu has stood for centuries as a center of Islamic culture and learning, at the juncture of trade routes spanning thousands of miles across the Sahara, north to Morocco and Europe, east to Ethiopia and the Arabian peninsula. For Ali Farka Touré, the legendary musician who fused Malian traditions with the blues, Timbuktu — his birthplace — was the “heart of the world.”
The multiple crises unfolding in and around Mali today are shaped by an intersection of trends that resonate far beyond the region: food insecurity and desertification linked to climate change, incomplete democratization processes marked by social exclusion, and a growing population of young people with poor employment prospects.… Seguir leyendo » “Why Mali Matters”
I recall vividly the intoxicating feeling of freedom and promise brought about by the “Carnation Revolution” in my native Portugal in 1974. I was 25 years old. Five decades of dictatorship had led us into economic stultification and costly, indefensible colonial wars. Suddenly there was democracy, or at least a plausible possibility of it, together with the stabilizing and enriching prospect of greater integration into Europe.
The success of Portugal’s revolution was not inevitable. There was a significant period of political instability, social unrest and economic dislocation, and there were even efforts to hijack the revolution and take the country down an anti-democratic path.… Seguir leyendo » “Look Who’s Coming to Europe”
Le Haut-Commissariat aux réfugiés (HCR) est encore bouleversé par le récent assassinat de son agent Zill-e Usman, tué par balles dans le camp de Katcha Gari sur la frontière des zones tribales sous administration fédérale dans la province frontière du nord-ouest au Pakistan. Un autre membre du personnel, Ishfaq Ahmad, a été blessé lors du drame du 16 juillet. Un garde au service du Commissariat pour les réfugiés afghans, une institution financée par le gouvernement, a également été tué. Quatre ou cinq hommes auraient ouvert le feu sur M. Usman alors qu’il allait du bureau administratif du camp vers sa voiture, au cours d’une visite de routine sur le site.… Seguir leyendo » “Les humanitaires de plus en plus ciblés”